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Former OKC Thunder assistant Monty Williams has Suns rolling

The Phoenix Suns have been the hottest team in the NBA since seeding games began and they kept rolling right along Monday, beating the Thunder 128-101.

While Suns start Devin Booker was excellent against the Thunder, with 35 points on 9-of-17 shooting, Phoenix has also gotten production from plenty of other places during the six-game winning streak in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Monday, that included 14 points from former Thunder Cameron Payne.

“We’ve committed to a style of play (and) we’ve been able to adapt to different situations,” Suns coach Monty Williams, who was an Oklahoma City assistant in 2015-16, said. “This bubble has been like two training camps for us to be able to have a couple weeks of practice and then games against the best teams in the league. We haven’t accomplished anything. It may sound like coach speech, but we dug ourselves a hole with our record. We scratched all year long, we won some games, but it’s been an uphill battle for us.”

The Suns are averaging 120 points per game during the restart. Booker is averaging more than 30.

“He certainly has scored at a very elite level,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said of Booker. “But he’s getting other guys involved as well. I think that’s why you see them scoring as many points as they do.”

With games remaining against Philadelphia and Dallas, the Suns are one game out of the eight spot in the Western Conference.

An eighth- or ninth-place finish would put the Suns in the Western Conference play-in series beginning Saturday.

“It’s been fun,” Booker said. “We’ve been playing really good basketball and we’ve been having fun on and off the court with each other. We’re becoming closer, we’re learning from each other, we’re communicating for each other.”

Phoenix has not made the playoffs since 2010.

Related Photos
Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams looks on during an NBA basketball game Los Angeles Clippers, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)

Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams looks on during an NBA basketball game Los Angeles Clippers, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b87b4491d51df0969af3d11347c8b789.jpg" alt="Photo - Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams looks on during an NBA basketball game Los Angeles Clippers, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)" title="Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams looks on during an NBA basketball game Los Angeles Clippers, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)"><figcaption>Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams looks on during an NBA basketball game Los Angeles Clippers, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-af63154ed67602322a7517708da2ebcd.jpg" alt="Photo - Then-Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams watches during Game 1 in the first round of the NBA playoffs in 2014. Williams, now the head coach in Phoenix, has the Suns pushing for their first playoff berth since 2010. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman" title="Then-Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams watches during Game 1 in the first round of the NBA playoffs in 2014. Williams, now the head coach in Phoenix, has the Suns pushing for their first playoff berth since 2010. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Then-Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams watches during Game 1 in the first round of the NBA playoffs in 2014. Williams, now the head coach in Phoenix, has the Suns pushing for their first playoff berth since 2010. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure>
Ryan Aber

Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The... Read more ›

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