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Suns-Thunder Preview

AP - Sports

Kevin Durant seems poised to take the Oklahoma City Thunder to new heights this season. Helping the franchise get off to its best start in 13 years would set a good tone.

Coming off a thrilling victory over the defending NBA champions, Oklahoma City looks to beat the visiting Phoenix Suns for the fourth straight time Saturday night.

Durant kept the Thunder (4-0) undefeated by hitting a deep 3-pointer at the buzzer to give them a 104-102 victory over Dallas on Thursday. He finished with 30 points, giving him at least that many in four straight games for the first time since Jan. 26-Feb. 2.

The Oklahoma City franchise hasn't begun a season with five straight wins since starting 6-0 in 1998, as the Seattle SuperSonics.

"It's special to hit a game-winner,'' Durant said. "The season's still young. To beat the champs in the early season is always pretty cool, but we've got to move on and get ready for the next game.''

Durant also downplayed a heated incident between himself and teammate Russell Westbrook that occurred during Wednesday's 98-95 win over Memphis. Durant and Westbrook appeared to yell at each other during a timeout, though Durant said it was a one-time thing and each player has moved on.

"It wasn't nothing that people should be blowing out of proportions,'' Durant said. "It happens every single day. Teams go through emotions, things happen. It's a competitive sport. Everybody's not going to always come in and be happy every single day.''

Oklahoma City's run has come despite a surprisingly slow start from Westbrook, who is shooting 33.3 percent and has more turnovers (25) than assists (22).

Though the Thunder have beaten the Suns three straight times, Durant shot only 39.6 percent in those meetings.

He'll look to improve on that mark against Phoenix, which is coming off its first victory of the season after beating New Orleans 93-78 on Friday.

The Suns (1-2) also cracked the 90-point mark for the first time, as Steve Nash hasn't gotten off to the start he'd like.

After scoring 14 points in Monday's season-opening loss to the Hornets, the two-time league MVP has shot 4 for 19 and scored 11 points over his last two games combined.

Nash had 12 assists in each game against the Hornets, but only one in Wednesday's loss to Philadelphia. He's averaging 10.3 points and 10.3 assists during Phoenix's three-game skid against the Thunder.

Hakim Warrick scored a game-high 18 points off the bench Friday and Jared Dudley added 16 for the Suns, who also got 10 points and 16 rebounds from Channing Frye.

"When you look at the schedule and you're 0-2, you think there's a chance you'll go 0-66,'' coach Alvin Gentry said. "You look at the schedule after you win and you say, 'Oh, we can do this or we can do that.' It's all psychological. You've just got to go out and play. We've been doing a good job of competing, but our offense has been so stagnant. (Friday), we got out and ran.''

The Suns have won four of six meetings in Oklahoma City since the Thunder franchise moved there prior to the 2008-09 season.

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