OKC Thunder vs. Phoenix Suns Game Grades


Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder won their third straight game Monday night beating the Phoenix Suns at home 114-96.

The key for the Thunder was clear as they turned the ball over a franchise-low five times in the game on their way to the easy win.

The Thunder shot 50.6 percent from the field while Phoenix wasn’t that much worse at 47.4 percent.

Luis Scola led the way for the Suns scoring 24 points while Goran Dragic added 16 points and eight assists.

The Thunder finish 2012 improving to 24-6 on the season and will play next on Wednesday at home vs. the Brooklyn Nets.

Here are the Game Grades:

Kevin Durant – 39 minutes, 30 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists – A

Durant’s matchup last night wasn’t as easy as it looked. The Suns started P.J. Tucker out on him who hustles as much as anyone in the league and he kept with Durant for a little. KD was too much by the end of the game though easily getting to 30 points and not turning the ball over once which was the most impressive thing about his game.

Russell Westbrook – 33 minutes, 24 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds – A

Westbrook said before the game he hoped his shooting slump was coming to an end. He wasn’t super efficient last night but he looked better than he did earlier in the month. It was another nice all-around game too and he turned the ball over just once. Westbrook left the game in the third quarter after being elbowed in the face by Scola and was bleeding but he would return.

Serge Ibaka – 29 minutes, 16 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks – B+

This is the prototypical game we are coming to expect from Ibaka. It’s pretty quiet but at the end of the game the numbers are very solid. He shot 6-of-11 from the field and even made a 3-pointer from the corner in the first half, a shot he’s been working on and getting better at this season.

Kevin Martin – 30 minutes, 6 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists – D

Martin really struggled from the field last night shooting 2-of-12 and 1-of-6 from deep. He just couldn’t get a shot to drop as the looks were usual and a lot of his misses were in-and-out. When Martin doesn’t score, he doesn’t give you much else so it’s hard to give him a high grade. Luckily for OKC, they didn’t miss his scoring absence and would have simply won by a far greater margin had he been hitting.

Kendrick Perkins – 28 minutes, 4 points, 6 rebounds, 1 block – B

Perkins’ numbers were good for him and he held Marcin Gortat to just 12 points. Perkins is sometimes valuable in these types of games as he always brings the energy defensively even on nights when the Thunder might want to take it easy.

Thabo Sefolosha – 32 minutes, 14 points, 2 rebounds, 1 block – A

When Sefolosha is being aggressive and looking for his offense, the Thunder are at their best. He stepped up last night and with Martin struggling, it couldn’t have been more crucial. He made 2-of-3 threes and 6-of-9 field goals overall. The defense was great as usual too.

Nick Collison – 20 minutes, 10 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists – A

Like Sefolosha, it was crucial for Collison to score for the Thunder with Martin not hitting his shots. Collison made 5-of-6 field goals and four of his rebounds came on the offensive glass. Amazingly, the Thunder were outscored by five while he was in. Can anyone remember a time when the Thunder were outscored during Collison’s minutes?

Reggie Jackson – 15 minutes, 6 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds – A+

Jackson has really come along this season. He made all three of his shots last night, had a season-high six assists and turned the ball over just once. He always helps out on the defensive glass and has continues to look more comfortable over the past few games. The key for Jackson is getting the assists because that was the advantage Eric Maynor had over him and if he can erase that then the Thunder will be in better shape.

Hasheem Thabeet – 9 minutes, 0 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks – B

Thabeet didn’t take any shots and had two offensive rebounds and blocked two shots in just a few minutes. It’s all the Thunder ask from him.

Jeremy Lamb, Perry Jones III and DeAndre Liggins all played the final two minutes of garbage time when nothing happened.