Notebook: Thunder 110, Jazz 87

Posted Mar 13, 2013 11:41 PM

Randy Renner, for

THE FACTS: The Oklahoma City Thunder used a deadly combination of stifling defense and hot shooting to blitz the Utah Jazz 110-87. OKC led by as many as 32 and took control of the game midway through the first quarter. The Thunder starters left the game late in the third quarter and didn't have to come back in. Kevin Durant led all scorers with 23 points, while also pulling down 10 rebounds for his 19th double-double of the season. Russell Westbrook added 19 points on 6-for-11 shooting. Had he stayed in the game, he was heading for a triple-double as Westbrook also had nine assists and seven rebounds.

None of the Jazz starters were able to get into double figures before they all sat down. Gordon Hayward came off the bench to lead Utah with 20 points on 6-for-14 shooting. Enes Kanter added 12. They were the only Jazz players to score more than nine points. Al Jefferson led Utah's starters with eight points while pulling down seven rebounds.

OKC sixth man Kevin Martin had 15 points, backup point guard Reggie Jackson added 12 and Derek Fisher and Serge Ibaka each scored 10.

The Thunder shot 53.6 percent for the game and held Utah to 35 percent while outrebounding the Jazz 48-35. The only downside for the Thunder was their inability to hold onto the basketball. OKC turned it over 25 times.

QUOTABLE: "I thought our defense was outstanding in the first half, in fact I thought that was the game right there. We had too many turnovers but overall the defense was just outstanding."
-- Thunder coach Scott Brooks

THE STAT: This game really got chippy in the second half and lead official Scott Foster and his crew were busy trying to keep things under control. There were whistles for two flagrant-1 fouls and five technicals.

TURNING POINT: The Thunder played suffocating defense throughout the first half but it was especially difficult for the Jazz to do much of anything in the second quarter. OKC held the Jazz to just nine points on 12.5 percent shooting (3-for-24) to pull out to a 22 point lead.

QUOTABLE II: "We got embarrassed tonight. We're trying to get in the playoffs we can't have games like this. We were down by 20-plus points and that's just stupid. We gotta execute our offense better. We got rattled and started second guessing ourselves."
-- Gordon Hayward

HOT: The Thunder shot 57.9 percent (11-for-19) in the first quarter...Westbrook was 4-for-6 (nine points in the first 12 minutes...The Jazz shot 50 percent in the second half...Hayward was 5-for-10 in the last 24 minutes...Durant was 5-for-6 (15 points) in the second half.

NOT: The Jazz were held to just 35 percent (7-for-20) in the first quarter and got worse from there finishing the half at just 22.7 percent (10-for-44)...Durant was 1-for-6 (five points) and six turnovers in the first 22 minutes...Jefferson was 3-for-11 (six points) in the first half...Mo Williams was 0-for-5 (0 points) and three turnovers in the first half.

INSIDE THE ARENA: University of Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops was among the 18,203 fans watching the game and part of the 99th consecutive sellout inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.

GOOD MOVE: A stoppage of play when the ball went out of bounds off a Jazz player with eight seconds left in the first quarter allowed Brooks to bring Durant back into the game. The Thunder head coach directed his star forward to act as point guard and bring the ball up the floor. Durant did that and more, making a nifty move at the free throw line and driving to the basket for a layup and getting a foul called on DeMarre Carroll. Durant hit the free throw to give OKC a 13 point lead.

BAD MOVE: An ugly scene in the third quarter when Carroll was called for a flagrant foul for shoving Durant and then Westbrook and Carroll got into a shouting match that threatened to get physical when all the players in the game at that point rushed toward both Carroll and Westbrook. The officials quickly got control of the situation.

BAD MOVE, TOO: Another flagrant foul had to be called in the fourth quarter when Hasheem Thabeet was too aggressive with a shove to Enes Kanter under the basket. That got tempers flaring again and three more technical fouls were whistled on Thabeet, Kanter and Marvin Williams.

NOTABLE: Oklahoma City has now won nine of the last 11 games and has won 20 straight at home against Western Conference opponents. Utah continues to slump having now lost eight of the last 10.

UP NEXT: For the Jazz, Saturday vs. Memphis, Monday vs. New York, Wednesday @ Houston. For the Thunder, Friday vs. Orlando, Sunday @ Dallas, Tuesday vs. Denver.