The Phoenix Suns decided to show the Oklahoma City Thunder -- and perhaps the rest of the Western Conference -- that they are for real on Thursday night. After a back-and-forth game which saw the two teams combine for 28 three-pointers, the Suns finally sealed the deal with two great plays late in the fourth quarter. The first was an alley-oop from Marcus Morris to brother Markieff with 70 seconds remaining. On the next Phoenix posesssion, Goran Dragic hit a 16-foot jumper to seal the momentum and the win, 128-122.
Gerald Green finished with 41 points on 12-of-22 shooting, including eight three-pointers, five rebounds, three steals, two assists and a block. Markieff Morris had 24 points and six rebounds off the bench for the Suns. Oklahoma City was led by Russell Westbrook, who had 36 points on 13-of-22 shooting, adding nine rebounds, nine assists, and four steals. Kevin Durant finished with 34 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
San Antonio Spurs 111, Miami Heat 87
San Antonio looked like their regular, old, dominating selves on Thursday against the Miami Heat in a rematch of last year's NBA Finals. Despite a tough defensive third quarter by Miami, the Spurs were on offensively and end-capped the game with periods of 37 and 29 points, respectively. The Spurs absolutely dominated the glass and kept the Heat off the free throw line as they cruised to a win, 111-87.
For San Antonio, Tim Duncan led the way with 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting, adding 11 rebounds and two assists. Patty Mills surprised off the bench with nine points and 10 rebounds in just 17 minutes of play. Chris Bosh was the high scorer for Miami, dropping 24 points on 10-of-16 shooting with seven rebounds and two steals. LeBron James was limited offensively, racking up 19 points but on just 6-of-18 shooting. Dwyane Wade finished with 16 points and seven assists.
If any readers out there watched the entirety of this game, you are truly patient and kind. Like a mother bear or a safecracker. The Clippers were absolutely in control of this one from the start, blowing out the Los Angeles Lakers by the time the first half was over, including a 44-point effort in the second quarter that saw the Clippers up, 73-40. At one point in the third quarter, Blake Griffin threw down a thunderous alley-oop and the look on Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak's face was priceless:
Griffin finished the game with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting, adding 11 rebounds, seven assists and two steals. Matt Barnes finished with 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting, adding 12 rebounds and five assists. Darren Collison had 24 points and Chris Paul poured in 13 points to go along with 11 assists. For the Lakers, Pau Gasol had 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting. Wesley Johnson was catastrophically bad, scoring just two points on 1-of-9 shooting, including 0-of-7 from three-point range. The Lakers are not good.