Oklahoma City Thunder (1-0, 0-0 away) vs. Utah Jazz (1-1, 1-0 home)
Saturday, Oct. 21 :: 8:00 p.m. CST :: Vivint Smart Home Arena (19,911)
TV: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 676-5, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27, U-Verse 751/1751 HD)
Online Stream: here.
Radio: WWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 5-point favorite. The over/under is 200.
Notes: Thunder: here | Jazz: here
SETTING THE SCENE
- With their first win under their belt, the Oklahoma City Thunder travel to the great Salt Lake to take on the Utah Jazz.
- Oklahoma City beat the Jazz 3-1 in their regular season head-to-head series.
- Utah comes into tonight’s game 1-1 with a win over the Denver Nuggets but fell to the Minnesota Timberwolves last night 100-97.
- Oklahoma City is 6-3 in road openers, winners of their last two.
FOLLOWING THE ACTION
- You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
- Brian Davis and Michael Cage call the game on the Thunder’s flagship station, Fox Sports Oklahoma. You can watch the game there, catch it on NBA League Pass, or use the Fox Sports App (If you’re in Oklahoma).
- You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook for game updates.
Thunder thump Knicks
- Despite being knotted at 42 apiece with 2:43 to go in the second quarter, a Steven Adams put-back dunk led an 11-0 run to end the first half of play and solidify the Thunder’s lead for the remainder of the game.
- Westbrook logged his 80th career and first opening night triple-double with 21 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds, joining Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history with at least 20 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds in a home opener and making him one of ten players in league history to record a triple-double on opening night.
- Oklahoma City held New York to the fewest opponent points in a game in Thunder history as the previous low was 86 points on Nov. 1, 2012.
- The Thunder generated 37 points off of Knicks turnovers and outscored New York in fast break points 35-8.
- In Paul George’s first game with the Thunder, he led the team in scoring as he posted 28 points and went a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe.
- The Oklahoma City Thunder added a bunch of new faces this year.
- Paul George was acquired on June 30 for Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo.
- Carmelo Anthony joins the Thunder after Oklahoma City sent Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a second round pick to the Knicks for Anthony.
- Oklahoma City also signed Raymond Felton and Patrick Patterson via free agency.
- Terrance Ferguson was drafted in the first round out of Australia.
- Oklahoma City also added PJ Dozier, undrafted rookie out of South Carolina to a two-way deal.
Anthony moving up the ranks
- Carmelo Anthony currently ranks 25th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (24,156 points) and fourth among active players behind Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James and Vince Carter.
- Anthony is also one of six players in league history alongside Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce to record 24,000 points, 6,000 rebounds, 2,500 assists, 1,000 steals and 1,000 three-point field goals.
- Paul George is the only player since he was drafted in 2010 with at least 2,800 rebounds, 700 steals and a three-point percentage of 37 percent or better.
- He is one of just five players with at least 8,000 points in 400 starts or less alongside Damian Lillard, Isaiah Thomas, Kyrie Irvingand Kemba Walker.
- To cap off his MVP season, Russell Westbrook registered his NBA-record-setting 42nd triple-double of the season last April 9th in Denver (Oscar Roberson tallied 41 triple-doubles during the 1961-62 season). Trailing 103-105 with 2.9 seconds left, Westbrook connected on a game-winning 36-foot 3-point field goal to also become the only player in NBA history to post three 50-point triple-doubles in a single season.
- He is the only player in NBA history to register seven consecutive triple-doubles on two separate occasions during a single season.
- Westbrook also posted five straight 30-point triple-doubles this season to become the only player in NBA history to ever accomplish the feat.
- To put further perspective on Westbrook’s triple-doubles, there are 11 NBA teams that have amassed fewer triple-doubles in their entire team history as compared to the 42 logged by Westbrook
- Oklahoma City is relatively healthy heading into tonight’s game.
Still good odds
- According to Sportsbook, the Oklahoma City Thunder have the sixth best odds to win the Larry O’Brien trophy.
- They have the fourth best odds to win the Western Conference behind, the Clippers, Spurs, Rockets, and the Warriors.
SCOUTING THE Jazz
- The Utah Jazz finished the 2016-17 regular season 51-31, fifth in the Western Conference.
- In their all-time series against the Jazz, the Thunder are 103-77.
- Since moving to Bricktown, Oklahoma City is 24-11 against Utah.
- The Thunder are only 8-9 on the road vs. the Jazz.
- Utah and Oklahoma City split their two games in Salt Lake City last season.
- The Jazz went 29-12 at home last season.
- Oklahoma City has won seven of the last eight against Utah.
- Dante Exum (shoulder) is out.
- Rodney Hood (knee) is a game-time decision.
- The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Utah came on Feb. 14, 2012, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 111-85 (26-point margin of victory).
- Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (21 points) vs. Utah occurred during a 99-120 loss on Oct. 31, 2010.
- On Sunday, the Thunder come home for their first back-to-back of the season to play the Minnesota Timberwolves (1-1).
- Following that: The Indiana Pacers come to town on Wednesday night for Paul George’s first game against his former team.
- Oklahoma City then travels to Minneapolis on Friday night to give the T-Wolves another game.
Three Keys to the Game
Oklahoma City’s bench was relatively absent against the Knicks. I’m sure it has to do something with Oklahoma City staggering the Big Three and one of them is always on the floor. Oklahoma City needs people like Terrance Ferguson and Patrick Patterson to step up and score for the Thunder.
Only one other team (the Warriors) has at least 35 points of fast break scoring. Oklahoma City has to go fast and limit what the Jazz can do off rebounds. If the Thunder can fly down the court and get those easy points, the Thunder might — just might — run away with this.
Limit foul trouble
This really goes towards Steven Adams and Russell Westbrook. We’re thin at those positions, so if they have to miss extended period of time due to foul trouble, this game could end up being closer than expected. I’m just imagining the Philadelphia game from last season right now.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!