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The Roundup—Jazz 102, Thunder 113
By Matt Payne, utahjazz.com
The Utah Jazz pulled within three points late in the fourth quarter (after trailing by as many as 21) before falling to the Oklahoma City Thunder 113-102 Tuesday night in Salt Lake City.
Utah is now 2-4 this preseason, while Oklahoma City improved to 5-1.
The Jazz had no answer for OKC’s big three of Kevin Durant (29 points on 11-for-15 shooting), Russell Westbrook (a triple-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists) and Serge Ibaka (16 points, five blocks).
Rodney Hood scored 23 points to lead the Jazz, while Trey Burke added 20 points and a team-high four assists. Gordon Hayward (18 points) and Alec Burks (14 points) also scored in double digits in the loss.
Hood came off the bench to lead the Jazz in scoring, and he was the catalyst behind Utah’s second-half comeback. Hood drilled back-to-back threes in the fourth quarter to keep the game close (pulling the Jazz within three with each one) and scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half.
The Jazz went on a 14-2 run to pull within three (92-89) midway through the fourth quarter before Durant took over, hitting nothing but net on a mid-range jumper and two 3-pointers on three straight OKC possessions. He added a two-handed dunk off an alley-oop from Westbrook, and the result was a double-digit Thunder lead with just over three minutes left.
The Jazz pulled down only 27 rebounds, while OKC grabbed 42. Part of that has to do with the Thunder’s hot shooting—they went 45-for-79 (57 percent) from the field. Trevor Booker led the Jazz with six rebounds.
Coach’s Quote of the Night
“I think we found out that we have to be unbelievably thoughtful, committed, urgent to play against a team that’s of this caliber. There’s some realism involved—you can’t have breakdowns. They make you pay for them.”
—Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
The Jazz waived Bryce Cotton and Treveon Graham on Tuesday, bringing their roster to 15 players. ... This was Oklahoma City’s final preseason game. ... The Jazz had 14 steals, and Burke and Joe Ingles finished with three steals each. ... Rookies Trey Lyles and Tibor Pleiss were the only Jazz players who did not get in the game.
The Jazz will conclude their preseason schedule at home against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. MT.