THE FACTS: The Oklahoma City Thunder let an 18-point lead slip all the way down to five in the fourth quarter but held off the Utah Jazz 106-94 behind 25 points from Kevin Durant and 23 from Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook played at break-neck speed, stealing the ball seven times but also turning it over eight. A couple of times he stole the ball right back after turning it over. He also hauled down 13 rebounds and handed out eight assists so he didn't miss a quintuple-double by much.
The Jazz had six players in double figures led by Enes Kantor who came off the bench blazing, scoring 18 points in just 15 minutes on 8-for-11 shooting. Al Jefferson had another double-double (the 243rd of his career) with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Paul Milsap, Mo Williams and Gordon Hayward all had 13 points for Utah.
The Thunder had five players get into double digits. In addition to Durant and Westbrook, Kevin Martin had 19 points on 7-for-12 shooting and both Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins added 12. Ibaka blocked seven shots and pulled down seven rebounds. Perkins played outstanding inside defense on Jefferson forcing him to take jumpers while also pulling down six rebounds, blocking three shots and dishing five assists.
The Thunder dominated points in the paint (52-38) and won the battle of the boards (47-40).
QUOTABLE: "Perk and Russell set the tone throughout the game with their enthusiasm and effort. Utah has no quit and we kinda let up a little bit when we had the big lead and we just can't do that."
--Thunder head coach Scott Brooks
QUOTABLE II: "They swept the paint. Perk did a good job of pushing me out of the paint and then when I did get the ball, there was a guy in my lap. They just had a good defensive plan."
THE STAT: The Thunder blocked 14 shots (a season-high) and turned 19 Utah turnovers into 25 points while holding the Jazz to 41.3 percent shooting.
TURNING POINT: One of the wildest sequences you'll ever see turned the game in the fourth quarter. With the Thunder clinging to a seven-point lead with 7:16 to play, Westbrook stole the ball from Jefferson and raced down court . But he passed into heavy traffic down low, and Jazz point guard Earl Watson grabbed the ball and took off in the other direction. Westbrook ran after Watson and stole the ball back then passed to a wide open Perkins who tossed the ball to Durant for a slam. The Thunder got the lead back to double digits and didn't let it get closer.
QUOTABLE III: "I thought our guys showed a lot of character and continued to fight and try to get back in the game but Westbrook had a couple of key steals against us and that kept us from getting back in the game."
--Jazz head coach Ty Corbin
HOT: The Thunder started the game 8-for-13 (61.5 percent) and finished the first half at 55.0 percent (22-for-40). ... Kanter was 6-for-7 (14 points in the fourth quarter.
NOT: The Jazz shot 40.0 percent (8-for-20) in the first quarter...that percentage was down to 34.9 percent (15-for-43) by halftime. ... Jefferson started 1-for-5 (two points). ... Westbrook (1-for-4) and Martin (1-for-4) combined to go 2-for-8 in the fourth quarter.
INSIDE THE ARENA: Durant's mom Wanda Pratt made her first appearance inside Chesapeake Energy Arena. She sat courtside with other members of KD's family.
GOOD MOVE: Thunder center Kendrick Perkins, double-teamed down low late in the second quarter, sends a behind-the-back, underhanded pass to Thabo Sefolosha who drains a 15-foot jumper.
BAD MOVE: Jazz coach Ty Corbin opted to give DeMarre Carroll his first start of the season when Marvin Williams couldn't go because of concussion symptoms but Carroll was ineffective guarding Durant who was 3-for-3 early in the game. Hayward, who was the other option to start in place of Williams, came in later and helped lead a Jazz run late in the third quarter and early in the fourth by hitting three straight shots.
NOTABLE: Jazz forward Derrick Favors left the game in the first half with a strained right arch and did not return. ... OKC has now won four straight and 12 of the last 14.
UP NEXT: For the Jazz, Saturday @ Houston, Monday vs. LA Clippers, Wednesday vs. Orlando. For the Thunder, Saturday @ New Orleans, Tuesday @ Brooklyn, Friday vs. LA Lakers.