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January 1, 2013

Thunder finishes 2012 with home win

(Continued)

OKLAHOMA CITY —

Goran Dragic added 16 points for Phoenix, while Marcin Gortat had 12 points and 10 rebounds and O'Neal had 12 points.

"We have a problem of closing out the games," Gortat said. "We just don't know how to execute in the last few minutes and we have to work on it. That's it."

The Thunder led 54-53 at halftime, but lost Westbrook temporarily after he was inadvertently elbowed while attempting a layup with 1:32 left in the half. Westbrook went down, bleeding from around his right eye, as no foul was called and play continued.

"It's just part of the game," Westbrook said of the injury. "Stuff like that happens and you've just got to be prepared for it."

The Suns stayed in the game in the half by shooting 51.2 percent from the field and 42.9 percent (6 of 14) from 3-point range. Sebastian Telfair hit three 3-pointers in four attempts in the first half but didn't score again.

Notes: The Thunder recalled first-round draft choice Perry Jones III and a pair of former Kentucky players, center Daniel Orton and guard DeAndre Liggins, from the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League. ... The Suns have recorded 1,998 wins in franchise history and are all but assured of being the fourth-fastest franchise to reach the 2,000-win mark, trailing Boston, the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia. Phoenix's next two games are Jan. 2 against Philadelphia and Jan. 4 against Utah, both at home ... Longtime Oklahoma Christian University professor, coach and administrator Max Dobson received the Devon Community Hero Award from the Thunder for his 37 years of teaching a class in which students work with special-needs children from Edmond Public Schools. Among those celebrating Dobson in a video shown during the ceremony was Oklahoma women's basketball coach Sherri Coale, whom Dobson recruited to OC in the early 1980s ... The Thunder recorded their 32nd straight sellout at Chesapeake Energy Arena, including 15 this season.

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