The NBA needs to look into flex scheduling.

While TNT’s intracity Lakers-Clippers Thursday nightcap in Los Angeles has not looked intriguing for months, the Suns and Thunder had pop before it even exploded off the US Airways Center court and Valley television screens on Thursday night.

While TNT's Lakers-Clippers 48-point rout of a Thursday nightcap was as unappealing as advertised, the Suns-Thunder matchup had pop before it even exploded off the US Airways Center court and Valley television screens Thursday night.
A raucous near sellout crowd in Phoenix and those tuned in for Suns-Thunder were treated to a 128-122 thriller, a Suns victory over the Western Conference leaders that boosted their playoff hopes before hitting a stretch of 14 road dates in the final 21 games.

The Suns (36-25) made the most of their home-court advantage Thursday night, overcoming some continued defensive issues against an explosive Thunder offense that posted 41 first-quarter points and had a 96-80 lead with 3:45 to go in the third quarter.

Green already had posted games of 31 and 33 points this week but did not look bound for another one Thursday night when he was scoreless in a first quarter that saw the Thunder tear off to a 41-32 lead. Green did not even take a shot until almost five minutes into the second quarter, just as Durant had been quiet against P.J. Tucker with one made shot at that point.

Green began to stir with 11 points in seven minutes before halftime, but that was just the start of his 41-point game — the Suns’ second 40-point scoring game in a week after Goran Dragic had posted one last Friday night. It was also Green’s fourth 30-point game, topping his previous six-year total of three.

“I’m not trying to be selfish, but I want it every time,” Green said. “I’m not afraid to take big shots. I’m not afraid to take any type of shots. I want to embrace those shots. I don’t think I’ve earned to do that yet. I’m still trying to prove myself to this team and this league. Every day, I’m still trying to get better. “

Green came within one 3-pointer of tying the franchise record for made 3s in a game (nine by Channing Frye and Quentin Richardson) and did tie Shannon Brown’s franchise record for 3s in a quarter (six) in the third quarter. Green scored 25 third-quarter points, also coming within a point of that franchise record set in 2002 by Stephon Marbury (26 vs. San Antonio).

Green had nine of the Suns’ points in a 14-0 run that closed the quarter and put Phoenix ahead 101-98 entering the fourth quarter, enthusing a crowd that a locker-room full of Suns declared the season’s best.