OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - NOVEMBER 24: Jordan Clarkson #00 of the Utah Jazz shoots the ball during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on November 24, 2021 at Paycom Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images

Second Half Comeback Gives Jazz The Win Over Oklahoma City

Big games by Rudy Gobert and Jordan Clarkson helped Utah overcome a slow shooting night to pick up the 110-104 road victory over the Thunder

For those who don't believe Rudy Gobert is deserving of his all-NBA status, all they had to do was watch his performance Wednesday night against Oklahoma City.

With the Jazz struggling to knock down shots and defend against the athletic Thunder, Gobert showed up in a massive way to lead the second half comeback. His 15th double-double of the season helped Utah overcome a slow start and defeat Oklahoma City 110-104.

"I think we're giving effort, there's just some lapses in concentration," Utah head coach Quin Snyder said postgame. "I thought our transition defense was better. A couple of situations where we just have to be a little more disciplined, but I think our focus and our effort was really good."

Gobert stuffed the stat sheet with 15 points, 17 rebounds, five blocks, and two steals, finishing with a game-high +13 rating. Even with the five blocks, Gobert altered nearly double that amount of shots as he took complete control on both ends of the court in the crucial fourth quarter when the Jazz needed him most.

He even showed some impressive footwork on the offensive end, getting a steal and dribbling full court before finishing with a euro-step and two-handed dunk.

After battling back multiple times throughout the game, Utah found itself trailing by four early in the fourth quarter. But as per the usual for the team this season, there was no shrinking in the biggest moments.

The Jazz reeled off a 15-4 run to take a 99-94 lead with just under five to play. Nine of those points came on three-pointers, including back-to-backs threes by Jordan Clarkson and Rudy Gay to start the run.

Oklahoma City rallied to tie the game at 101 with 2:35 to play before Utah had one more run that put the game away. A quick 6-0 burst with Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell buckets helped the Jazz improve to 12-6 on the season.

Despite the final five-point scoring margin against a Thunder squad that's 6-12 on the season, the Jazz are proud of their performance. They noted that they did many things well, including ball movement, defensive rebounding, and getting back in transition, but the shots just didn't fall.

"I don't think the score reflected the way we played as a group," Mitchell said. "We had some breakdowns, but we did a lot of good things that we can look back on and be proud of."

"We were just moving the ball, finding the open man. A lot of us were passing up good shots for great shots," Clarkson said.

Despite putting up just 21 points in the opening 12 minutes, Snyder said the first quarter was some of the best offense he's seen from the team this season. Combining the ball movement with the shot selection, it was the sort of offense he expects his team to have a double-digit lead when executed this way.

"I thought we played as well as we have the entire season offensively, particularly in the first quarter," Snyder said. "I mean, the ball was moving. … We just didn't make shots. I felt like we could've had a 15-20 point lead in the first quarter."

After finding themselves down by four entering the second quarter, Utah saw the deficit reach eight, its largest of the game.

Gay ignited an 11-0 run with five combined points on back-to-back possessions before Clarkson and Joe Ingles ended it with three-pointers for the 32-29 lead.

Utah later had its largest lead of the first half at five following a pair of Bojan Bogdanovic free throws, but the Thunder responded with a 7-0 run before eventually taking a 52-49 lead at the half.

Clarkson finished with a team-high 20 points, five assists, and three rebounds, pacing six Utah players in double figures. Bogdanovic added 19 points and five rebounds, while Conley chipped in 18 points and four assists. Gay came off the bench to score 15 points and grab five rebounds — he and Clarkson helped Utah score 40 points off the bench.

Lou Dort finished with a game-high with 27 points for Oklahoma City, while Josh Giddey added a near triple-double with 19 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds.

The Jazz get to have Thanksgiving with their families before hosting the New Orleans Pelicans in back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. MST both nights.

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