PHOENIX (AP) — Gerald Green came to the NBA straight from high school with an abundance of raw talent that never translated into a big-time pro career.
Then came his offseason trade to Phoenix — his seventh team in seven seasons — and he seems finally to have found a home.
On Thursday night, especially in one remarkable quarter, Green was as good as it gets against one of the best teams in the NBA.
He scored 25 of his career-high 41 points in the third quarter and the Suns erased a 16-point deficit to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 128-122.
"I haven't done nothing in this league," Green said. "Every day I come into practice or come into a game, I'm just trying to prove myself."
Markieff Morris added 24 points, including two free throws with 24.4 seconds to play. Goran Dragic scored 22, including six of the Suns' final 12 points after Oklahoma City led 118-116.
Russell Westbrook scored a season-high 36 for the Thunder, who would have pulled a half-game ahead of Indiana for the NBA's best record with a victory. Kevin Durant added 34.
Green's outburst fell one point shy of a Suns record for most points in a quarter set by Stephon Marbury in 2002. His career-best eight 3-pointers also was one shy of the franchise mark.
"I love the way he's playing right now," Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. "We knew he could shoot the ball. There's not too many guys that can get on a roll like that. The thing that makes him unique (is) some guys you can get up into and maybe challenge a shot a little harder. But Gerald just jumps over everybody. He's making shots that other guys can't get that high to shoot."
It was Phoenix's second 40-point performance in four games. Dragic had 40 against New Orleans on Friday. Green set a career high for the second time this season. He had 36 at Denver on Feb. 18.
In the third quarter, Green was 7 of 11, including 6 of 6 on 3s. Fouled on a 3-pointer with 6.9 seconds left, Green missed one of the three free throws or he would have tied Marbury's franchise record.
"I was just feeling it, man," he said. "Guys were finding me in transition. I was just being real aggressive. ... I'm not afraid to take big shots. I'm not afraid to take any type of shot. "
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