December 29, 2018 / 4:47 AM / 2 months ago

Westbrook carries George-less Thunder past Suns

Russell Westbrook recorded 40 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 118-102 victory over the host Phoenix Suns on Friday night.

Dennis Schroder scored 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter as the Thunder prevailed without star forward Paul George (quadriceps). It marked the first game George has missed this season.

Abdel Nader scored a career-best 18 points off the bench for Oklahoma City, which halted a two-game slide. Steven Adams registered 12 points and 13 rebounds, and Jerami Grant had 12 points and eight rebounds.

Devin Booker contributed 25 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds for the Suns, who had won five of their previous seven games. T.J. Warren scored 19 points, Deandre Ayton had 16 points and nine rebounds, and Mikal Bridges scored 13 points as Phoenix fell in the opener of a seven-game homestand.

Oklahoma City made 15 of 19 field-goal attempts in the fourth quarter to finish at 53.7 percent. The Thunder were 7 of 20 from 3-point range.

The Suns shot 43.3 percent from the field and hit 9 of 29 from behind the arc.

The Thunder dominated the fourth quarter by a 37-18 margin to turn a three-point deficit into a 16-point win.

Schroder opened the final stanza with consecutive baskets to give Oklahoma City an 85-84 lead. He added two 3-pointers and two free throws over the ensuing three-plus minutes to boost the Thunder’s margin to nine.

Westbrook drained a 3-pointer to give Oklahoma City a 102-88 lead with 6:09 left. Westbrook later converted back-to-back baskets, and Schroder followed with a layup to push the margin to 112-95 with 3:45 remaining before the Thunder cruised to the finish.

Westbrook was hunting for shots in the opening quarter as he connected on 7 of 8 while scoring 15 points. The Thunder shot 64 percent from the field and led 36-29 after 12 minutes.

Oklahoma City led by eight two minutes into the second quarter before Phoenix went on a 16-4 run. Bridges capped the burst with a jumper to give the Suns a 51-47 edge with 5:22 left.

The Thunder took a 58-57 advantage into the break.

Warren knocked down a 3-pointer to give the Suns an 82-77 lead with 2:03 left in the third quarter before Phoenix took an 84-81 edge into the final stanza.

—Field Level Media

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