April 16, 2024

Nurkic irked by officials after setting Suns’ rebound record

PHOENIX — Jusuf Nurkic broke the Suns‘ franchise record with 31 rebounds, probably the most in an NBA sport in 14 years, however he did not wish to discuss a lot in regards to the feat after a 118-110 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday evening.

Both Nurkic and Phoenix coach Frank Vogel spoke critically of some missed foul calls after the Thunder escaped with a victory regardless of blowing a 24-point lead.

“I don’t know, man, I’m just trying to do my role the best I can. But it’s kind of really messed up when you have 13 offensive rebounds and 16 shots then zero free throws,” Nurkic mentioned. “As hard as I work, and I feel like [I’m] getting fouled as [much as] anybody in the league.

“And I’m not right here saying — we misplaced the sport, it’s what it’s — [but] it is simply, it is probably not widespread sense. At least one [free throw]. [To] not even have one? But I do know it occurs. I ain’t the primary one, and I ain’t going to be the final, both, sadly.”

Vogel, particularly, was targeted on how usually he thought Suns star Kevin Durant was fouled.

“We’ve received to be higher,” the coach said. “[But] I’ll begin by saying they fouled the s— out of Kevin Durant all evening. Whether he has the ball and he is getting stripped three, 4, perhaps even 5 instances, and each time he tries to get open, he is being held, which is one thing I really need the league to take a look at.”

Both Vogel and Nurkic noted the Suns’ 22 turnovers, as well. Oklahoma City had six.

“That’s the place it begins, the turnover drawback,” Vogel added. “We’ve had points with it all year long. This staff is No. 1 within the league in forcing turnovers, we did not deal with their strain effectively sufficient and their size — and recognizing our size once we attempt to contact the paint. It was pricey.”

Nurkic finished with 14 points, as well, but he had five of Phoenix’s turnovers.

“Another turnover subject,” he said. “We received 22? So, I feel all of us agree within the locker room that this s— has received to vary. We’ll see going ahead one thing totally different.”

Nurkic’s efforts of the boards resulted in probably the most rebounds by any participant since Kevin Love had 31 in 2010, in response to ESPN Stats & Information analysis.

“Incredible,” Vogel said of Nurkic. “The loss apart, you simply take a look at a 31-rebound evening — at any level within the NBA historical past — [it] is simply an unbelievable efficiency. The finest in Phoenix Suns historical past. He is a beast on the defensive finish of the court docket.”

On Nov. 12, 2010, Love, whereas with the Minnesota Timberwolves, completed with 31 factors and 31 rebounds in a 112-103 victory over the New York Knicks. Nurkic was 16 years previous when Love posted that whole.

“I noticed, on the display screen, that I had 28,” Nurkic said, when asked if he knew, during the game, he was on his way to history. “But it would not actually matter. I imply, it is nice, however we misplaced the sport.”

Nurkic broke the Phoenix rebound record of 27 rebounds set by Tyson Chandler towards the Atlanta Hawks in January 2016. Nurkic’s earlier profession excessive was 23 for the Portland Trail Blazers towards the Sacramento Kings in January 2019. The 7-footer had 22 earlier this season towards each the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets.

The Suns performed Sunday with out star guard Devin Booker after he sprained his proper ankle late in a loss to the visiting Houston Rockets on Saturday night.

Oklahoma City improved to 42-18 to take a half-game lead over its rivals Minnesota and the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference’s Northwest Division. The Thunder had won six in a row before losing Thursday night at the San Antonio Spurs.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 35 factors for the Thunder, and all 5 Oklahoma City starters scored in double figures. Jalen Williams put up 22 factors, Chet Holmgren 14, Luguentz Dort 13 and Josh Giddey 10. Gilgeous-Alexander additionally tallied eight rebounds and 9 assists.

Bradley Beal scored 31 factors for Phoenix. Ejected Saturday evening for a scuffle with Houston’s Jalen Green, Beal played 33 minutes in his second game back from a strained hamstring. Kevin Durant added 20 points, and Eric Gordon had 15 after missing three games because of a groin injury.

Vogel said before the game that Booker’s ankle was still being evaluated and the team would have more information on Tuesday.

Initially Phoenix shook off Booker’s absence, racing to a 17-4 lead. But the Thunder scored the next 10 points and finished the first quarter on a 24-7 run to lead 28-22. Gilgeous-Alexander had 10 points in the period.

Nurkic played seven minutes in the first quarter and had 12 rebounds — but the Suns only had one rebound for the rest of the quarter after he went to the bench for a breather.

“He’s an enormous fella, man. He works his tail off down there. He competes. He tries to get each single rebound,” Beal said of Nurkic. “I feel that simply speaks quantity; he is the perfect rebounding huge within the league, for positive. His capacity to make use of his measurement, filter out house.

“[I] tip my hat to him.”

Gilgeous-Alexander, second to Luka Doncic of Dallas in scoring common at 31.4 getting into Sunday, had 18 factors within the first half Sunday because the Thunder led 66-52 at intermission. Beal had 17 to steer the Suns.

Oklahoma City led by as many as 24 earlier than the Suns stormed again to chop it to 86-83 late within the third quarter. Gordon’s 3-pointer early within the fourth quarter made it 91-89, the Suns’ first lead because the first quarter.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.