The Thunder fought off a late surge by the Utah Jazz to win 106-94, sweep the three game home stand. Russell Westbrook nearly had a triple-double with 23 points, 13 rebounds and 8 assists. The win improves Oklahoma City to 13-4 on the season and pushes the divisional lead to three games.
Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant helped Oklahoma city through early struggles in the first quarter. He led the Oklahoma City all the way to the lead. The Jazz led until Oklahoma City finally grabbed the lead at 10-8 midway through the first quarter. Oklahoma City fought hard, and grabbed a 22-20 lead at the end of the first quarter. There seven ties and three lead changes throughout the first quarter.
After the Jazz grabbed the quick 25-24 lead, it was all Thunder. Oklahoma city used the quarter to assert their dominance over Utah. Oklahoma City opened up a double digit lead midway through the quarter, and never looked back. Oklahoma City opened up their largest lead at 14 points off a Russell Westbrook pass to Kevin Martin to give the Thunder a 50-36 lead with 1:24 left until halftime. Oklahoma City after Durant hit two free throws late in the quarter, went into halftime with the 54-42 advantage.
The way the first half ended continued in the second half. Durant was aggressive, as was Westbrook. Oklahoma extended their largest lead at that point to 17 points at the 6:27 mark in the third quarter. Oklahoma City led at that point 67-50. The quarter was dominated by the Thunder who pushed the lead out to 83-67 after three quarters.
Fourth quarter got scary. Utah was hitting shots and playing solid defense. The Jazz cut the lead to 88-83 with 7:41 left in the quarter. From that point on, Oklahoma City scored the Jazz 18-11. It was all spurred by Westbrook. Westbrook had four big rebounds and three steals in the final 7:41 of the game. Oklahoma City basically toyed with the Jazz it seemed.
Keys to the Game
Three Pointers: A
Oklahoma City didn’t live by the three tonight, and I thoroughly enjoyed that. Oklahoma City did their best to shoot efficient shots. They were 4-for-9 from behind the arc. On the other end, they limited the Jazz to just 30.4 percent from deep. It was huge tonight.
Offensive Rebounds: C
While the Jazz had 11 offensive rebounds, the Thunder countered with 16 offensive rebounds that contributed for 16 second half points for both teams. Oklahoma City didn’t exactly limit the jazz, but they did enough on their end to give themselves extra opportunities.
21 turnovers for Oklahoma City tonight. Russell Westbrook had eight of them. half the turnovers were hustle turnovers, they accounted for 20 Jazz points. On the bright side, Oklahoma City forced 19 turnovers and turned them into 25 points. That’s how the Jazz made their comeback, by forcing silly turnovers. Must limit them. I say this a lot though. Never sticks.