Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Suns (11-20) vs. OKC Thunder (23-6) Preview


The Oklahoma City Thunder go back home tonight to host the Phoenix Suns at 8 p.m. EST on New Year’s Eve.

This has to be one of the easiest games for the Thunder on paper.

OKC comes into the game as the most efficient offense in the NBA while Phoenix’s defense is ranked 26th in the league.

Meanwhile, the Suns don’t have a lot of fire power on offense themselves and the Thunder should have no trouble staying with them in their individual matchups.

The Thunder have struggled defending the pick-and-roll lately though and a trio of Goran Dragic-Luis Scola-Marcin Gortat could do some damage against them.

The Suns are led by Dragic who is averaging 14.2 points and 6.4 assists per game this season and won’t be at 100 percent for this game as he has a sore hip.

Shannon Brown is their second-leading scorer while Scola and Jared Dudley are each capable of scoring a lot with each having 30-point games in the past week.

The Thunder have played the Suns well in recent history but that had a lot to do with James Harden. Harden scored a career-high 40 points against the Suns last year on April 18 after he set his first career-high of 30 points against them on March 7.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook shouldn’t have any trouble making up for that loss tonight especially at home where the Thunder are looking for their 12th straight win.

A big key for the Suns will be not turning the ball over. They are currently 4th best in the NBA in turnover percentage but the Thunder are coming off their last game vs. Houston where they made a season-high 16 steals as a team.

Another positive from the Houston game for OKC was Westbrook’s shooting. For only the second time in December, he shot 50 percent or better from the field as he made 11-of-22 shots and scored 28 points.

The Thunder are one game back of the Los Angeles Clippers for the best record in the NBA right now. The Clippers won again last night to finish the month of December with a perfect 16-0 record.

If the Thunder win tonight, they’ll be a half game back of the Clippers and finish the month with a record of 11-2.

Tags: Oklahoma City Thunder Phoenix Suns