“It's a mental focus game,” said Kendrick Perkins. “It's hard playing a team back-to-back. It's almost a playoff test. They kind of know you and you know them, so you just got to make sure you come out with the right mind-set and mental focus and just execute the game plan.”
The Thunder led by as many as 35 points and never trailed against the Suns.
JACKSON STILL HAS THE BACKUP JOB
Sunday's game against the Suns was Reggie Jackson's 26th straight contest as the primary backup point guard after taking over the job from Eric Maynor on Dec. 20.
If anyone was searching for hints as to what Brooks might have in mind with that spot going forward, Sunday's game perhaps shed a sliver of light onto the coach's thinking.
Maynor manned the backup job for the first 25 games. Since Brooks prides himself on being fair with his players, the possibility that Jackson might have been on the same 25-game trial is not out of the question. But with Jackson still going strong in his 26th game, it could mean the competition for the permanent job has been decided for now.
Thunder guard Jeremy Lamb was inactive Sunday while he continues to recover from a low back strain. … Perkins, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant sat out for the entire fourth quarter for the fourth straight game. … Perkins and Goran Dragic were called for a double technical foul with 1.3 seconds remaining in the second quarter. … The Thunder is now 16-9 on the road. … The Suns turned the ball over 23 times, one shy of tying an opponent high for the Thunder. OKC scored 25 points off those turnovers.
By Darnell Mayberry