Paul George scored 32 points as the host Oklahoma City Thunder, playing without Russell Westbrook for the fourth consecutive game, beat the Phoenix Suns 118-101 on Monday night.
George scored 21 of his points before halftime as the Thunder built a lead as big as 28 points in the first half.
The win was far from easy, though, as the Suns cut the once-big lead down to seven with eight minutes to play.
But from there, Oklahoma City outscored Phoenix 25-15 to win for the eighth time in nine games.
Westbrook is still recovering from a sprained left ankle suffered Nov. 5.
For the first time in the five games Westbrook has missed this season -- he also missed the first two games of the year -- the Thunder scored more than 100 points.
George was 11 of 19 from the floor, making six 3-pointers.
Oklahoma City, which came into the game as the worst outside shooting team in the league, was 13 of 27 from behind the 3-point line.
Dennis Schroder, filling in for Westbrook as the starting point guard, had 20 points and nine assists.
Against rookie Deandre Ayton, Steven Adams took control of things on the interior, adding 18 points.
A day earlier, Suns coach Igor Kokoskov had talked about the importance of Ayton being aggressive early in games.
But Monday, Adams was 5 of 6 from the floor in the first quarter while Ayton missed all four of his first-quarter field goal tries as the Thunder opened up a big lead quickly, outscoring Phoenix 32-13 in the first 12 minutes.
Adams didn't play when these teams first met Oct. 28 when Ayton had 16 points and 11 rebounds.
But with Adams in there, Ayton found things much more difficult. He finished with 14 points and seven rebounds.
TJ Warren led the Suns with 21 points, while Devin Booker added 19.
Phoenix has lost four consecutive games and six consecutive games on the road.
--Field Level Media