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The Roundup—Jazz 109, Thunder 89
In a showdown between the Northwest Division's top two teams, the Utah Jazz jumped on the Oklahoma City Thunder early, and then held a double-digit lead for much of the game before pulling away for a 109-89 win Wednesday night in Salt Lake City.
The Jazz (16-10) have won nine of their past 11 games and now have a one-game lead over OKC in the division standings.
Rodney Hood, who missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, scored 15 of his team-high 25 points in the first half, while Gordon Hayward added 17 points in the win.
Rudy Gobert notched his 16th double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds. He also had two steals and three blocks.
Russell Westbrook led all scorers with 27 points for the Thunder (15-11), though he only shot 7-for-25 from the field. Former Jazz center Enes Kanter contributed to the losing effort with 19 points off the bench.
Shelvin Mack gave the Jazz a huge lift off the bench. Mack shot 5-for-6 from the field (including 3-for-3 from 3-point range) and finished with 15 points, five rebounds and five assists in 30 minutes. He also sank a big three at the second-quarter buzzer to give the Jazz a boost going into halftime.
The Jazz scored the first seven points of the game, but OKC closed the gap with some fluky buckets—including a half-court heave by Semaj Christen at the first-quarter buzzer. The Jazz, though, came out firing in the second quarter with an 11-0 run to take control. Hayward hit a 20-foot jumper, Gobert brought the defense, and Hood drilled his third and fourth threes of the first half to give the Jazz a 19-point lead midway through the period.
The Jazz were on fire from the field, shooting 58.3 percent as a team, including 56.5 percent (13-for-23) from 3-point range. The Thunder, meanwhile, shot only 30-for-82 (36.6 percent) from the field.
Coach's Quote of the Night
"I think [defense] is important to our guys. That's the biggest thing—I just want it to be important."
Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
Hayward failed to score 20+ points for the first time in 11 games. ... Boris Diaw led the Jazz with six assists. ... OKC had nearly twice as many free-throw attempts (27) as the Jazz (15). ... Derrick Favors (knee) returned to the court after missing 12 games. He finished with four points, four rebounds, one steal and one block in 13 minutes. ... Joe Ingles added 11 points off the bench for the Jazz. He shot 4-for-5 from the field, including 3-for-3 from 3-point range. ... Kanter picked up a technical foul in the third quarter (much to the crowd's delight). ... George Hill (toe) and Alec Burks (ankle) missed the game for the Jazz. Victor Oladipo (wrist) was out for Oklahoma City.
The Jazz will stay at home to face the Dallas Mavericks on Friday. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. MT, and the game will be televised on ROOT SPORTS.