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Yusuf Nurkic's record-breaking rebounds not enough as Phoenix falls to Oklahoma City

Posted : 04 March 2024

Oklahoma City secured a notable 118-110 victory over Phoenix on Sunday, propelling them to the top of the Western Conference with a commendable 18-42 record. The hard-fought match saw Bosnian Suns star Yusuf Nurkic stand out by breaking a franchise record with an impressive 31 rebounds — the most in an NBA game in 14 years. Despite his remarkable achievement, Nurkic, known for his humility, shifted the focus away from his personal success during the postgame interview.


The 29-year-old Phoenix center expressed frustration about the lack of free throws despite his significant contributions, emphasizing his work on the offensive boards. Nurkic acknowledged the team's loss but voiced his concerns about the officiating, calling for at least one penalty shot. Phoenix coach Frank Vogel praised Nurkic's record-breaking performance, highlighting his exceptional defensive abilities described as "animalistic."


Nurkic's record surpassed Tyson Chandler's 27 rebounds for Phoenix in 2016. Vogel, while acknowledging his team's need for improvement, also raised concerns about unwhistled fouls on Kevin Durant throughout the game. Both Vogel and Nurkic pointed out the team's 22 turnovers, a significant factor in the loss, contrasting with Oklahoma's mere six turnovers. Vogel emphasized ongoing issues with ball control, citing the opponent's pressure as a persistent challenge.


The Suns, playing without Devin Booker, who sprained his ankle in a previous game, will face Denver on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Oklahoma City, on a six-game winning streak before a recent loss to San Antonio, will play an away game against the Lakers on Monday night.


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