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Thunder Game Day No. 2: vs. Utah Jazz

Oklahoma City Thunder (1-0, 0-0 home) vs. utah jazz (1-1, 1-0 away)

Monday, December 28 :: 8:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
TV Coverage: Fox Sports Oklahoma
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: The Utah Jazz are 9-point favorites. The over/under is 217.5.
Online StreamFS OK | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Jazz: here

The Setup

  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander saved Oklahoma City and the Thunder beat the Charlotte Hornets to win their season opener. Their reward? The divisional rival, the Utah Jazz.
  • The Jazz come into the game 1-1 and off a loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, which saw the Jazz shoot terribly from the three-point line and from the field. However, they won’t have to worry about KAT in this one and Gobert is probably really hungry.
  • This is the first back-to-back session for the Thunder. They’ll play the Orlando Magic (3-0) tomorrow night at the ‘Peake.

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.
  • Chris Fisher 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).

SCOUTING THE ENEMY

  • Last season, the Utah Jazz went 44-28, finishing sixth in the Western Conference.
  • Utah did not do a lot of free agency moves but still retain their core of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.
  • Last season, Oklahoma City went 2-1 against the Jazz, winning the only game in Oklahoma City.
  • Oklahoma City 112-79 all-time against Utah.
  • Since relocation, the Thunder are 33-13 against the Jazz. Including going 20-2 against Utah at home.
  • The Thunder have won 17 consecutive games at home vs. Utah, dating back to Halloween 2011; more than 10 years ago.
  • Utah is coming off a 116-111 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Four players scored at least 18 points for the Jazz but DeAngelo Russell was too much for Utah.
  • In their last 10 games, the Thunder are 9-1 in the series.
  • Oklahoma City is 8-3 all-time in Charlotte and have won three straight in the Queen City.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Utah came on 12/20/17, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 107-79 (28-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (21 points) vs. UTA occurred during a 99-120 loss on 10/31/10.

INJURY REPORT

UTAH
Derrick Favors (knee) is expected to play.
Shaquille Harrison (ankle) is expected to play.

OKLAHOMA CITY
Ty Jerome (ankle) is out. He is considered day-to-day.
Trevor Ariza (personal) is out indefinitely.

KEYS TO THE GAME

Defend the Paint
Rudy Gobert doesn’t really have a lot of resistance for this one. Oklahoma City will have to find a way to defend the paint and limit what Gobert can do. If they can get him into foul trouble, that would be their best course of action.

Fast break points
Oklahoma City only had 11 fast break points in their win over Charlotte but when you can turn your defense into offense, that allows for easier buckets and more efficient possessions. The goal should be around 17 points, meaning the Thunder had 4-5 steals and extra turns and limited what Utah could do.

Bench Production
The Thunder’s bench was pretty rough in their season opener. Theo Madelon had some good possessions but was a stretch to say he was average on defense and Aleksej Pokuvevski could’ve built a new arena with his bricks. It’s not necessarily only scoring they need but defense as well.

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