GAME PREVIEW


Paris Lawson

By Paris Lawson | Broadcast and Digital Reporter
okcthunder.com


Preview: Thunder vs. Jazz - 11/24

Following a three-game road trip where the Thunder fought hard against Eastern Conference playoff contenders, the team returns home for a pair of games inside Paycom Center during Thanksgiving week. On Wednesday, the Thunder will take on the Utah Jazz for the first time since its regular season opener and will look to build on the experiences from its previous matchup over a month ago.


What to Watch

Inside-Out Threat
When it comes to the ability to score from both inside the paint and behind the arc, the Jazz are one of the most dangerous teams in the league. With the presence of Rudy Gobert at the rim and capable shooters like Joe Ingles, Bojan Bogdanović and Mike Conley on the perimeter, Utah generates 95 percent of their buckets from the paint or the 3-point line which marks the highest percentage in the league. Meanwhile, the paint-hunting Thunder has the sixth highest percentage in that category at 90.8 percent.

Eyes on the Reserves
Throughout the Thunder’s three-game road trip, the second unit showed consistency in providing a boost when needed. In the last two games alone, the bench averaged 45.5 points while shooting 47 percent from the field. Thunder guard Ty Jerome played a big role in those numbers as he averaged 13 points while shooting 64 percent from the field and 50 percent from deep over those two contests.


On the other end of the floor, Utah touts one of the highest scoring sixth-men in the league as Jordan Clarkson is averaging 14.9 points per contest – the fifth best mark in the league. In the Jazz’s last game against Memphis, it was Hassan Whiteside who led the second unit in scoring with 12 points off the bench.

Growth for Giddey
The Thunder’s last game against Atlanta marked the first game of the season without its leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander who was out with a right ankle sprain. In his absence, Thunder rookie Josh Giddey had his first go at primary ball handling duties through all four quarters. Giddey finished the game with 15 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and two blocks to go a long with a litany of lessons to carry over into his next contest.

“For me, it’s a learning experience. It’s the first time I've played without him,” said Giddey. “I learned a lot. I think I'm growing at a steady pace. And I think until he gets back that it's going to continue to get better. I'm going to learn more things I'm going to adjust to the NBA style even more and hopefully things get better from here.”


Notable

Thunder guard Lu Dort has found himself among exclusive company with his 3-point shooting. After cashing in three 3-pointers against Atlanta, Dort has now logged 31 consecutive games with at least one made 3-pointer which marks the fifth longest streak in the league. On Wednesday, he’ll be going up against the player who holds the third-longest streak in that category as Utah’s Mike Conley holds 58 consecutive games with a 3-pointer made.


Quotable

Lu Dort on the collective offensive effort against Atlanta without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander…
“We just played together, moved the ball the ball. I still felt like we missed a lot of stuff at the rim, but a lot of guys stepped up and that's what we need. That's what we want for the next couple of games.”


Scouting Report

Utah (11-6) enters Oklahoma City after falling to Memphis in a closely fought 119-118 battle in Salt Lake City. In that contest, five Jazz players recorded 12 or more points as Bojan Bogdanovic led the way with 24 points behind seven made 3-pointers. Jazz center Rudy Gobert followed closely behind with 23 to go along with 13 rebounds. For the season, Utah’s leading scorer Donovan Mitchell averages 24 points per contest, but it’s Mike Conley who is putting up career-high numbers in his 15th season as the lefty point guard is shooting a career-best 45 percent clip from deep.

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