After ending 10-game skid, Suns take on Thunder
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PHOENIX -- At the time, Phoenix's 114-100 victory over Oklahoma City seven weeks ago looked like the kind of game that could turn the a season around.
Unfortunately, it kind of did.
The Suns broke an 0-for-February streak with a 110-102 victory at Memphis on Wednesday, getting back on the right track. It had been a long time coming -- the Suns had lost 10 in a row before beating Memphis are 3-18 since taking out the Thunder at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Jan. 7.
The Suns (19-44) beat Russell Westbrook, Paul Georgie and Co. by making a season-high 17 3-pointers in that game, and the teams will meet again at the same place Friday.
"I'm happy for the players, I really am," Phoenix interim coach Jay Triano told reporters Wednesday.
"It's nice for them to get rewarded with a win after what they have been through."
The Thunder (36-27), meanwhile, won for the fourth time in five games with a 111-110 overtime victory at Dallas on Wednesday.
Westbrook had 30 points, including seven of the Thunder's 11 in overtime, to go with 11 rebounds, seven assists and nine turnovers. That came two days after Westbrook finished two points short of a triple-double in 112-105 win over Orlando.
"Just keep going, man," Westbrook told reporters about his mindset against Dallas.
"Regardless of missed or made shots, my mentality never changes throughout the game. I always continue to stay in attack mode."
Westbrook has been in a slump from 3-point range recently. He missed all five 3-point attempts against Dallas and has made only 2 of 24 3-pointers in the last six games. He is making 28.5 percent for the season.
Westbrook has 18 triple-doubles this season and 97 in his career. He would be the fourth to 100 after Oscar Robertson (181), Magic Johnson (138) and Jason Kidd (107). Wilt Chamberlain is fifth with 78 and LeBron James has 66.
The Thunder, after losing the next two games following the Jan. 7 loss in Phoenix, went on an eight-game winning streak and have won 14 of the last 21. The teams will meet again Thursday to conclude the three-game season series.
The Suns have lost 15 of 17.
Devin Booker and rookie Josh Jackson have been the Suns' two bright spots along the way.
Booker has scored 34, 40, 30, 27 and 28 points in his last five games while making 17 3-pointers. He missed the four games before that with a hip injury.
Jackson had a career-high 29 points against Memphis, with seven rebounds and four assists. He was 10 of 13 from the foul line while starting for TJ Warren, who missed the game with a bruised tailbone. Warren's status for the next game is unclear.
Jackson has 10 20-point games in his last 20 games after having one in his first 43. His previous career high was 23 points.
"Some of the things he does just catches me off guard," Booker told The Arizona Republic.
"I'm like, 'Wow.' He was unbelievable the whole night."
Rookie Shaquille Harrision, who signed a 10-day contract last week, has been a pleasant find for the Suns as a reserve guard. He had seven points, five rebounds, four steals and two assists against Memphis.
Updated March 1, 2018