The Phoenix Suns started their week much like they ended their early weekend, beating one of the better teams in the NBA.
Monty Williams’ squad improved to a perfect 6-0 in Orlando, 32-39 overall, after routing the Oklahoma City Thunder 128-101 behind 35 points from Devin Booker and 18 each from young forwards Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson. Veteran point guard Ricky Rubio dished out a game-high nine assists.
Much like Saturday’s win over the Miami Heat, the Suns used a strong second half Monday to pull away from OKC who dropped to 43-27 on the season.
“It’s been an uphill battle for us and we’ve done a good job getting to this point,” Williams said after the win. “No one knew we were going to be here but we’re here and we’re thankful for that but we haven’t accomplished anything as far as the main goal…trying to get to the playoffs. We’re going to take it one step at a time.”
Center Deandre Ayton did not start against the Thunder after missing his mandated morning COVID-19 test but did play 17 minutes, scoring 10 points and grabbing six rebounds.
Phoenix outrebounded OKC 41-32 and connected on 27 of 29 free throws (93.1%).
The Thunder played without a number of key players including Steven Adams, Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schröder.
Next up for Phoenix, who are tied with San Antonio, .5 games back of Portland and one game behind current eight-seed Memphis, is 42-28 Philadelphia Tuesday at 1:30 Arizona time.