Dec. 23, 2009; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard (13) Steve Nash moves the ball under pressure from Oklahoma City Thunder guard (0) Russell Westbrook and forward (35) Kevin Durant at the US Airways Center. The Thunder defeated the Suns 117-113. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Suns (17-20) at Thunder (30-8), 8:00 P.M. EST tip


Thunder (1-game winning streak)
106.1 Offensive Efficiency (2nd)
99.1 Defensive Efficiency (12th)
96.0 Pace (5th)
56.7 True Shooting % (2nd)
51.6 Rebound Rate (4th)

Suns (3-game winning streak)
100.2 Offensive Efficiency (16th)
101.9 Defensive Efficiency (18th)
94.4 Pace (13th)
52.4 True Shooting % (13th)
48.7 Rebound Rate (24th)

The Thunder are coming off a nice win against Dallas two nights ago. The win gave Oklahoma City the season series at 3-1 and they came from behind in the final minutes to close out the defending champs.

Phoenix has won their last three games and five of their last six. They have been inconsistent this year despite the amazing play of Steve Nash and his new pick-and-roll partner, Marcin Gortat.

The Suns can still win a lot of games in this league playing their style. Their style just doesn’t bode well when matched up with the juggernaut Thunder.


Nash will have to contend with one of the best defenders in the league in Russell Westbrook as well as somehow try and slow Westbrook down at the other end. When Westbrook has matchups like this where he truly overmatches his counterpart in athleticism, he has really tried to take advantage of it this year and pretty much gets to whatever spot he wants.

The Suns have a ton of small forwards t throw out on the court but none are much match for Kevin Durant who is coming off a few recent games where he did have to face tough defenders.

The Suns can be at their best running and moving the ball around for open shots but that pace tonight will favor the hyper-athletes that the Thunder strut out onto the court.

Gortat has been a pleasant surprise for Phoenix this year but it doesn’t get much tougher than Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins protecting the paint.

Oklahoma City is susceptible to upsets from teams that hit the offensive glass and play great defense that forces turnovers. The Suns aren’t that team and with the game being played in Oklahoma City, the Thunder should walk all over Phoenix tonight.

These two teams met once earlier this season on New Year’s Eve with the Thunder winning 107-97. In that game Nash was held to eight points on 3-of-10 shooting. Durant only scored 12 and Westbrook 18 but it was the Thunder bench that really came through with 53 points.

James Harden had 10 points, eight assists and seven rebounds and Daequan Cook played especially well knocking down four treys.

Tags: Daequan Cook James Harden Kendrick Perkins Kevin Durant Marcin Gortat Russell Westbrook Serge Ibaka Steve Nash Thunder Vs Suns

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