Oklahoma City Thunder: OKC beats Suns in Russell Westbrook's return

Kevin Durant had 33 points and 10 rebounds, Russell Westbrook had 21 points and seven assists in his return from a knee injury and the Oklahoma City Thunder overcame a ragged performance to beat the Phoenix Suns 103-96 on Sunday night.
By MURRAY EVANS, Associated Press Modified: November 3, 2013 at 9:26 pm •  Published: November 3, 2013
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Westbrook underwent an initial surgery for the injury on April 27. He underwent another surgery on Oct. 1 to remove a loose stitch from the first procedure. At the time, the Thunder said he would miss the first four to six weeks of the regular season. Under that timetable, Westbrook could have been out for as many as 22 games.

Instead, he missed only two games — a win at Utah on Wednesday and a loss at Minnesota on Friday. Westbrook said before the game that he never expected to be out four to six weeks.

Usually the first player announced during pre-game introductions, Westbrook instead was the last and he drew an enormous roar from the sellout crowd at Chesapeake Energy Arena. He immediately returned to his aggressive self on the court, scoring his first basket at the 7:16 mark of the first quarter on a driving layup.

It quickly became apparent, however, that the Thunder will have to readjust to having Westbrook in the lineup. Oklahoma City struggled with its shooting in the first half, going 16 of 40 (40 percent) and allowing the Suns to lead 45-44 at halftime despite a ragtag performance that included 13 turnovers.

Frye scored 19 points and Goran Drajic had 10 for the Suns on 5-of-9 shooting before leaving the game with a sprained left ankle less than 2 minutes into the third quarter.

The Thunder shot 42.7 percent from the field (35 of 82) but went 31 of 37 from the free throw line (83.8 percent).



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