Well, at least you can say this game was only a preseason game for the Utah Jazz, in a game that saw the home team drop their fourth consecutive contest. This time at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
It began early. It started with a 6-0 lead, that ballooned to a 14-4 lead, then a 28-14 lead, before the end of the 1st quarter came to a close with the Thunder up 35-18. From there on, it seemed like a coast for the Thunder, as the Jazz trailed 57-43 headed into the half. Only shooting 35.7% from the field to OKC’s 51.1% seemed to cancel out the fact that the Thunder had 10 first half turnovers. Seemingly, the only hustle stat OKC lost was the turnover battle in the first half, but with that said, the Jazz on fewer TO’s, still managed to serve up more points off of turnovers.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook proved they were back in regular season form, putting up 15 points and 12 points, respectively, in the 1st half, before taking the foot off the gas a little in the 2nd half.
The 2nd half saw the Jazz come out ready to fight, getting the lead down to six points, when it was 67-61. However, as the Jazz drew closer, the Thunder woke up to close the 3rd quarter out on a 12-7 run to take an 11 point lead into the 4th quarter, where the Jazz ultimately met their demise, falling 113-102.
Again, the Jazz loss didn’t come without effort. In the 4th quarter, the Jazz would not stop, getting the game within 3 points numerous times, before the Thunder, yet again, answered back with a run of their own to close the 4th quarter. Guess who showed up late too?! You guessed it. Kevin Durant. The sharpshooter put any aspirations of a Jazz comeback to rest, nailing two key 3 point shots with under 3 minutes to go in the game.
With the win, the Thunder improve to 5-1 in the preseason, while the Jazz drop to 2-4, with only one more preseason game to go.
Both Durant and Westbrook led all scorers for most of the game, including the first three quarters of the game. Durant finished with 29 to lead all scorers and Westbrook had 21 points.
On the Jazz front, Mr. Reliable was none other than Gordon Hayward, leading the Jazz in scoring for much of the game, with 18 points and shooting 50% from the field in the process. However, it wasn’t just Hayward. G-time got much needed help from Rodney Hood, who ended the game, leading all Jazz scorers with 23 points on 9/16 shooting and Trey Burke showed up this game, scoring 20 points on 7/15 from the field. Alec Burks was the other notable Jazz player with double digit points, scoring 14 points.
The Jazz have their final preseason game on Thursday night from Energy Solutions Arena, taking on the Denver Nuggets, before regular season action starts up October 28th, on the road vs. the Detroit Pistons.