RECAP: Thunder score win over Suns in Phoenix

Jan 27, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Luguentz Dort (right) drives to the basket against Phoenix Suns guard E’Twaun Moore in the first half at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Al Horford and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander each scored 21 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder recovered from a slow start to earn a 102-97 road victory Wednesday against the Phoenix Suns.

Luguentz Dort scored 14 points, including a 3-pointer with 2:11 remaining that put the Thunder in the lead for good at 96-95. Theo Maledon scored 11 points, while Darius Bazley and Hamidou Diallo added 10 each.

Chris Paul scored a season-high 32 points for the Suns against his former team, while Jae Crowder added 17 as the Suns lost their third consecutive game and fifth in their last six.

Paul, who was traded from the Thunder to the Suns in November, helped the Suns to a 17-point lead in the second quarter before seeing his team fall into a 13-point hole in the third quarter. Paul scored 27 second-half points in his first game with 30 points since Feb. 11 of last season.

Abdel Nader, who also went from the Thunder to the Suns this past offseason, had a season-high 12 points for Phoenix. The Suns were without leading scorer Devin Booker, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring strain.

Horford added a team-high 11 rebounds after missing six games following the birth of his daughter. Gilgeous-Alexander had a game-high eight assists.

The Suns led 38-21 early in the second quarter, before the Thunder finished the first half on a rush. Oklahoma City scored the last 15 points of the second quarter and took a 45-42 lead into the break, while holding Phoenix to 10 points in the period.

The Suns were just 4 of 25 (16 percent) from the field in the second quarter, while missing all 11 of their 3-point attempts.

The Thunder kept the pressure on to open the second half, grabbing a 59-46 lead with 8:17 remaining in the third quarter after a 3-pointer by Gilgeous-Alexander. But the Suns answered by closing the third quarter on a 25-14 run to pull within 73-71.

The Thunder outscored the Suns 29-26 in the fourth quarter, winning their second consecutive game while completing their five-game road trip at 2-3.

The Suns’ Dario Saric cleared COVID-19 protocol and was available Wednesday but did not play. He was out for the previous four games.

–Field Level Media