PHOENIX — On the back of a shuttle at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport was a purple and orange Phoenix Suns advertisement that read, "Catch us if you can.”
The Thunder had no shot Friday, walking out of US Airways Center with an embarrassing 140-118 loss to a resurgent run-and-gun Suns team.
Phoenix reached the 140-point mark for the third straight game, becoming the first team to pull such a feat since the 1990-91 Portland Trail Blazers.
"They look good,” said Thunder guard Earl Watson. "They look really good.”
The Suns beat the Clippers in back-to-back games earlier this week, with a 140-100 home blowout Tuesday and a 142-119 road drubbing Wednesday.
Guard Leandro Barbosa, who finished with a game- and career-high 41 points, gave the Suns 140 with a leaning 21-footer with 20.7 seconds remaining as a sold out crowd of 18,422 celebrated its team’s staggering scoring streak.
The total was more impressive on this night because the Suns played without Amare Stoudemire, who likely will miss the rest of the season with an eye injury. Phoenix’s All-Star forward scored 42 in Wednesday’s win and had 23 points in Tuesday’s.
"They are a team that is high-powered and playing with a lot of confidence right now,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "Teams are really going to have to buckle down and play them well because right now they’re playing at a high level offensively.”
The Thunder’s problem was that it tried foolishly to match fire with only a flicker of a flame.
Kevin Durant led six Thunder players in double figures with 35 points. But Oklahoma City played into the Suns’ game much of the night, settling for one pass and a jump shot instead of relying on good ball movement and attacks on the rim for easier baskets or layups.
The Thunder turned the ball over 23 times, leading to 33 Suns points and helping Phoenix shoot 58.2 percent for the game.
"We can’t afford to have turnovers,” Brooks said. "That’s been our problem all year, and we’re going to continue to focus and concentrate on taking care of the ball.”
The Thunder trailed by as many as 28 with 2:09 left in the first half but cut the deficit to 105-99 with 9:42 left to play, thanks in large part to a third quarter effort that held the Suns to 24 points.