Thunder rally in final minutes, push past Suns 111-107


PHOENIX (AP) — Danilo Gallinari scored 27 points, Dennis Schroder added 24 and the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied in the final minutes to push past the Phoenix Suns 111-107 on Friday night.

Oklahoma City used a 13-0 run late in the fourth quarter to flip a 99-92 deficit into a 105-99 lead with 25 seconds left and held on for the win. Schroder drained a 3-pointer during the rally to tie the game at 99, and Chris Paul hit a go-ahead jumper to make it 101-99.

Paul had 20 points and 10 assists.

The Suns led 81-79 going into the fourth quarter after Jevon Carter hit a 3 in the final seconds of the third and pushed their lead to 99-92 with 4:30 remaining on Deandre Ayton’s layup. But then they didn’t score for more than four minutes, missing seven straight shots as the Thunder rallied.

Phoenix was led by Devin Booker and Kelly Oubre Jr., who both scored 27 points. Oubre made a 3 with 9.5 seconds left that pulled the Suns to 107-106, but Shai Gilgeous-Alexander hit two free throws on the ensuing possession to put the Thunder up three.

Schroder sank a 3-pointer with eight seconds left in the second quarter to put the Thunder ahead 53-52 at halftime. Schroder and Gallinari had 12 points apiece in the first half, while Booker led the Suns with 14.


The Suns held 24 seconds of silence before the game to honor Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and the seven others who died in Sunday’s helicopter crash. The public address announcer also read several of Bryant’s on-the-court and off-the-court accomplishments, and the crowd chanted “Kobe, Kobe” for several seconds afterward.


Paul was booed every time he touched the ball for most of the first half.

The apparent reason? The veteran point guard made the Western Conference All-Star team when the reserves were announced Thursday. He was likely one of the players who bumped Booker for one of the final spots.

Paul got the last laugh with his clutch bucket that put the Thunder ahead 101-99. He hit multiple free throws in the final minute.


Thunder: Starting center Steven Adams picked up three fouls in less than seven minutes in the first half. The fouls squashed a potentially good start to the game after he had two quick buckets in the opening minutes. … Starting guard Luguentz Dort played in college at Arizona State and this was his first game against the Suns. He had eight points.

Suns: F Dario Saric sprained his left ankle in the first quarter and didn’t return. He played just four minutes. … Phoenix was playing without F Aron Baynes (left hip soreness), G/F Cameron Johnson (bruised right quad) and F Frank Kaminsky III (right patella stress fracture). Baynes has missed the past five games, Johnson the past six and Kaminsky the past 14.


The Thunder return home to face the Cavaliers on Wednesday

The Suns play at Milwaukee on Sunday.


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