Oklahoma City Thunder (20-6, 11-5 road) at Utah Jazz (13-11, 11-4 home)
Where: Energy Solutions Arena – Salt Lake City, UT
When: 9:30 p.m.
TV: ESPN (206 Directv, 28 Cox, 602 AT&T U-Verse, 140 Dish)
Online Stream: Here.
Radio: WWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
The Utah Jazz aren’t your Dad’s Utah Jazz. Gone are the John Stockton’s and the Karl Malone’s. No Jerry Sloan either. Deron Williams is in New Jersey. However, they keep winning. They’re 13-11 on the season. They are just 4-6 in their last 10 games though. Including four of their last five. Three of the four losses have been by five points or less. The one exception is the 18 point blow out by Golden State.
Al Jefferson leads this team in scoring with 18.5 points per game, also grabbing 8.9 rebounds per game. Paul Milsap is beast on the board though, leads the team 9.7 boards a ball game. The point guard position for the Jazz is split between Devin Harris, and one time Thunder player Earl Watson.
Watson played one season in Oklahoma City. Started the first 18 games of the season before Russell Westbrook took over. Watson averaged 6.6 ppg and 5.8 apg in 26 game minutes for the Thunder.
Oklahoma City’s fans are in full meltdown mode after losing to a bad Sacramento team. Many are scrambling to find out why they got beat by the Kings. That should be in short thought tonight as the Jazz are going to be a tough opponent.
Kevin Durant had 27 points last night and Westbrook led all scores with 33 points. Westbrook had 7 turnovers in the loss. Oklahoma City accrued 23 turnovers which led to 25 Kings points last night.
Keys to the game
Utah can rebound the ball. They’re ranked 10th in total rebounding. Utah is also a top 10 team in offensive rebounding. A category where Oklahoma City ranks 28th out of 30 teams. Not to mention, the Jazz rank third in turning the ball over. Good news for OKC is that Utah ranks just 18th in forcing turnovers.
Westbrook had three assists at halftime. It looked promising for him to have a decent assist total. It was all for not. Westbrook finished with three total assists. Oklahoma City had spread out the assists last night. Not a bad thing, except, they had a total of 13 assists. 7 assists had come on fast break opportunities.
The Thunder are 3-1 after a loss this season. However, Utah ranks just 20th in defensive field goal shootin percentage. While, OKC ranks third in offensive free throw shooting. Make the baskets and you’ll have a chance to win, pretty simple.