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Josh Giddey scores 23 points, Thunder rout Suns 128-103 without Gilgeous-Alexander

Fri, Mar 29, 2024
NBA News (AP)

Josh Giddey scores 23 points, Thunder rout Suns 128-103 without Gilgeous-Alexander

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Josh Giddey scored 23 points to help the Oklahoma City Thunder roll past the Phoenix Suns 128-103 on Friday night, despite All-Star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander sitting out with a bruised right thigh.

Without Gilgeous-Alexander, the NBA's No. 3 scorer at 30.4 points per game, the Thunder still shot 56.3% and made 16 of 30 3-pointers. It was a critical game for the Thunder - they entered the night a half-game behind the Denver Nuggets in the race for the best record in the Western Conference.

Giddey, who averages about 12 points, has averaged 26.3 in his past three games. He made 10 of 15 field goals against Phoenix and had nine assists and seven rebounds.

Chet Holmgren scored 20 points and Jalen Williams and Cason Wallace each added 16 for Oklahoma City.

Kevin Durant scored 26 points for the Suns. Thunder fans still haven't forgiven him for leaving Oklahoma City to join the Golden State Warriors after the 2015-16 season. They booed him during pregame introductions and whenever he touched the ball once the game started.

Bradley Beal scored 15 points and Devin Booker added 14 for the Suns, who slipped as they try to avoid the Play-In Tournament. They started the night in seventh in the Western Conference, a half- game behind the Dallas Mavericks for sixth. The Suns need to finish sixth or better to stay out of the Play-In.

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Oklahoma City shot 62% in the first half to lead 70-59 at the break. Isaiah Joe scored all 14 of his points in the first half and made all four of his 3-pointers. The Thunder made 8 of 11 threes before the break.

The Thunder continued their blistering shooting in the third quarter. Oklahoma City's Aaron Wiggins stole an errant Durant pass, then made a layup on the other end to put the Thunder ahead 90-68. Oklahoma City led 101-80 at the end of the period.

UP NEXT

Suns: At New Orleans on Monday night.

Thunder: At New York on Sunday night.

___

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA

CLIFF BRUNT Brunt is an Associated Press sports writer covering major college and pro sports in Oklahoma, including the Thunder, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys and Cowgirls and the Women's College World Series. He also covers race and equity issues. twitter instagram mailto "
Article Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.
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