The Oklahoma City Thunder had their first road game of the season and it was pretty ugly from start to finish. Oklahoma City could never seem to find a rhythm offensively, and the Utah Jazz defense gave them fits all night. A lot of turnovers and constant mishaps led to the nine-point loss. Here are some digits from tonight’s game:
The Thunder couldn’t throw the ball into the ocean for a lot of the game, especially in the first quarter. They were missing shots left and right and only managed to score 14 points in the whole first quarter. They shot just 27 percent from the floor in the first 12 minutes.
Russell Westbrook had a night he will not want to remember. He just seemed out of sync offensively all game, and his shots refused to go in. He only scored six points all game while shooting 18 percent from the floor.
Utah’s largest lead of the night was 20 points. They ended up only winning by single digits, but led by more than ten for most of the final quarter. Oklahoma City battled back a couple times, but could never really get back in striking distance.
One of the main reasons for Oklahoma City losing this game is because the hole they dug themselves into early in the first half. Oklahoma City over a period of 15 minutes throughout the first half, shot the ball 28 times and only hitting two of those attempts. The Utah defense was playing very well, along with the Thunder just missing everything.
Rudy Gobert is a defensive monster and he absolutely made a huge impact on Oklahoma City tonight. The Thunder refused to go into the paint to score points and it was for good reason. They only scored 20 points inside the painted area and had to rely heavily on jump shots all night. Gobert was the main reason for that and he is going to be a defensive stopper for many seasons to come.
Alex Abrines played nearly 30 minutes tonight, and obviously the sixth man of this Thunder squad. With all the new additions, Abrines is still searching for his niche but he has been pretty solid in these first two games, despite tonight’s loss.
The physicality of the game was intense for most of the game, and it definitely started to frustrate Oklahoma City. Both Adams and Carmelo Anthony were hit with technical fouls at separate points in the game. Utah is one of those teams that will grind you down to win games since they aren’t the most athletic or heavily talented. That type of play was successful for them against the Thunder.
Utah scored by committee tonight, as five different Jazz players finished with double digits in the scoring column. Ricky Rubio and Gobert both chipped in 16 points each while Joe Ingles had a team-high 19 points.
Oklahoma City is at their best when they get out and run, and tonight they could not do any of that. The Jazz slowed them down and only allowed the Thunder to score eight points in the fast break.
The big three had a combined 14 turnovers, as it is apparent this chemistry thing is a work in process. The 14 turnovers seem to mostly stem from the guys being a little too unselfish at times and over-passing the ball. That will improve over time, as the big three continue to gel together and play more together.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!