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Kevin Labanc and Andreas Athanasiou

  • August 12, 2019
    PHOENIX -- For the 41st game in a row, Kevin Durant scored at least 25 points. [b]Vlade Divac Jersey[/b] . Not even Michael Jordan ever did that. Even so, Durant would probably trade his 38 points for a win. P.J. Tucker, who had to guard Durant most of Sunday night, scored 11 of his career-high 22 points in the fourth quarter and Phoenix beat the Thunder 122-115, giving the Suns a critical victory in their drive to make the playoffs and dealing a blow to Oklahoma Citys tenuous hold on the No. 2 spot in the West. Goran Dragic scored 26 points, Gerald Green 24 and Eric Bledsoe 18 for the Suns, who shot a season-best 58.4 per cent. With Memphis loss to San Antonio, the Suns are a game ahead of the Grizzlies for the No. 8 spot in the West and a half-game behind No. 7 Dallas. Durants streak surpassed Jordans 40 in a row of 25 or more and is the longest since Oscar Robertson did it for 46 straight games in 1963-64. Wilt Chamberlain did it in all 80 regular-season games in the 1961-62 season. And Durant is totally unimpressed his streak. "I dont really care about it," he said. "I cant wait until its over." Russell Westbrook scored 33 for the Thunder, who lead the Los Angeles Clippers by a game for the Wests No. 2 playoff spot. Oklahoma City took its final lead, 112-111, on Durants two free throws with 2:39 to play. Phoenix scored the next 10, the first four by Markieff Morris and the last four on free throws by Bledsoe, to lead 121-112 with 20.7 seconds to play. Durant sank a 3-pointer with 12.9 seconds to go, the only Thunder field goal in the final 3:49. "Its all or nothing right now," Green said. "We dont have a month left to try and make up. We only got a few more games, so its win or go home for us." Tucker was a career-best 4 of 5 from behind the arc. After struggling at the line all night, Phoenix made its last eight free throws. "Everybody is trying to win at this point," Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. "It was a good test for us and one that these guys passed." Phoenix won the season series against Oklahoma City 2-1. "We feel like very game we play we can win, throughout the league," Tucker said. "We have confidence that we can play with anybody in the league." Phoenix plays its next three on the road -- at New Orleans, San Antonio and Dallas. "Its a big win for us," Dragic said. "Were a step closer, but were still a long way from our goal." Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Phoenixs great shooting was not solely the result of poor defence. "Theyre a very good offensive team," he said. "They give you trouble because theyre small, they attack, they get to the free throw line, they can make 3s, and theyre desperate right now. Theyre fighting for their playoff lives." Still, he said, the Thunder "didnt do a good enough job closing out their shooters." "When you have good shooters you cant have mistakes," Brooks said, "and we had too many mistakes on the defensive end." The Suns led by as many as 14 points in the third quarter, the last time at 85-71 on Greens 14-footer with 6:10 left, and were up 92-83 after consecutive layups by Dragic and Bledsoe with 4:04 left. But the Thunder outscored the Suns 8-2 the rest of the quarter, Durants driving dunk with 13 seconds left cutting Phoenixs lead to 94-91 after three. Durant and Nick Collison scored to start the fourth quarter and Oklahoma City led for the first time since the first quarter, 95-94, with 11:06 to play. The lead bounced back and forth after that. Tuckers reverse layup put Phoenix up 111-110 with 1:52 to go. Marcus Morris sank a pair of jumpers in a 12-4 run that put Phoenix up 38-29 early in the second quarter. Oklahoma City cut it to 44-41 on Reggie Jacksons driving layup, but Tucker sank a 3, Dragic converted a three-point play then scored on another drive and the Suns were back up 52-43 with 3:53 to go and led 62-53 at the break. NOTES: The Suns are 20-0 when shooting at least 50 per cent from the field. ... Dragic scored all 19 of his first-half points in the second quarter, Green scored 17 in the second half. ... Phoenix plays four of its final five games on the road. Its home game is against Memphis on April 14. [b]Marvin Bagley III Kings Jersey[/b] . Winners of two straight, the Flames will try to become the first team in 25 years to go three consecutive games without taking a penalty Saturday night in San Jose. [b]Harry Giles Kings Jersey[/b] . The All-Pro left tackle agreed to a five-year contract with the Eagles on Wednesday. Peters was signed for 2014, and his new deal adds four years through 2018.KINGSTON, Ont. -- Josh MacDonalds second goal of the game kept his team alive as the Peterborough Petes edged the host Kingston Frontencas 6-5 in overtime on Friday in Ontario Hockey League playoff action. Clark Seymour, Nick Ritchie and Stephen Nosad also scored for the Petes, who trail the series 3-2. Greg Betzold had three assists. Ryan Verbeek, Darcy Greenaway, Conor McGlynn, Sam Bennett and Spencer Watson scored for the Frontenacs. Peterboroughs Andrew DAgostini made 41 saves for the win as Matt Mahalak stopped 35-of-41 shots for Kingston. --- GREYHOUNDS 6 ATTACK 1 SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. -- Michael Bunting had a hat trick and Matt Murray made 30 saves as the Greyhounds toppled Owen Sound to take their Round 1 match up 4-1. Alex Gudbranson, Darnell Nurse and Tyler Gaudet also scored for Sault Ste. Marie, while David Miller and Blake Speers each tacked on three assists. Chris Bigras scored the lone goal for the Attack and Jack Flinn stopped 25-of-31 shots in a losing cause. The Greyhounds will face the Erie Otters in Round 2. --- COLTS 7 WOLVES 0 BARRIE, Ont. -- Kevin Labanc and Andreas Athanasiou each scored twice as the Colts blanked Sudbury to take Game 4 and go ahead 3-1 in their first-round matchup. Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 24 shots for Barrie, while Tyson Fawcett, Brendan Lemieux and Jonathan Laser also scored. [b]Jason Williams Kings Jersey[/b]. Lemieux tacked on two assists for a three-point outing and Zach Hall had two assists. Franky Palazzese turned away 29-of-36 shots for the Wolves. --- STORM 8 WHALERS 3 GUELPH, Ont. -- Kerby Rychel scored once and set up three more and Justin Nichols had 30 saves as the Storm defeated Plymouth to take their first round series 4-1. Nick Ebert and Tyler Bertuzzi both scored twice for Guelph while Ryan Horvat, Scott Kosmachuk and Zack Mitchell added single goals. Zach Lorentz had a pair of goals for the Whalers and Connor Chatham scored once. Alex Nedeljkoviv allowed seven goals on 36 shots in 46 minutes of action. Zack Bowman stopped 6-of-7 shots in relief. The Storm will meet the London Knights in Round 2. --- BATTALION 4 ICEDOGS 3 NORTH BAY, Ont. -- Alex Henriksson and Nick Paul each had a pair of goals as the Battalion kept their season alive by winning Game 5 of their first-round series against Niagara. Pauls second goal of the game 3:35 into the third period stood up as the winner for North Bay, which trails the series 3-2, while Brenden Miller and Zach Bratina had two assists apiece. Matt Gillard scored twice for the IceDogs and Blake Siebenaler had the other. Jake Smith only had to make 10 saves for the Battalion as Niagaras Brent Moran kicked out 32-of-36 shots in defeat. ' ' '
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