In their third game in four nights, the Oklahoma City Thunder were able to come out with one of their more impressive wins on the season, defeating the Utah Jazz 104-90 in a second night of a back-to-back road game.
Oklahoma City and Utah fought back and forth throughout the first quarter, but the Thunder were able to use a quick 6-0 run to close out the opening quarter, and led the game wire-to-wire from that point on.
Oklahoma City once led by as much as 22 points tonight, and were able to keep Utah out of reach for the majority of the second half.
The Thunder did their most damage in the opening period of the second half, where they had their biggest lead of the game. They outscored the Utah Jazz 34-21 in the third period. It was a bright spot in a quarter where Oklahoma City has historically struggled throughout this season thus far. In the last 5:44 of the third quarter, Oklahoma City outscored Utah by a pace of 19 points to just seven points for Utah.
It was a big scoring night between Thunder guard’s Shai-Gilgeous Alexander and Dennis Schroder, and some stingy defense from Oklahoma City overall to get the win. The Thunder held Utah to just 40 percent shooting from the field, and just 26 percent from three. Shai put up 20 points while Schröder was able to finish a game-high 27 points.
Oklahoma City entered tonight’s matchup with quite a few injuries, leading to Darius Bazley and Abdel Nader both being included in the starting lineup. Along with Hamidou Diallo and Andre Roberson not being able to play, Oklahoma City was also without Terrance Ferguson and Danilo Gallinari, who was dealing an ankle injury. It led to the 2019 two-way rookie Lu Dort to play a bench-high 29 minutes tonight.
Dort had some solid perimeter defense on the night, and was able to finish the night with nine points and two rebounds. Steven Adams also had quite the night, with another double-double, with 11 points, 13 rebounds along with four assists.
This was the Thunder’s third win a row, the longest win streak of the season this year. It was also their second win on the road in a row, in the midst of a four game road-trip. Oklahoma City will continue their road trip with a game at Sacramento on Wednesday.
Utah only had three guys finish with double-digit scoring on the night, as they just had multiple stretches with very little scoring, credit to Oklahoma City’s defense, especially around the perimeter. Donovan Mitchell led the way for Utah, with 26 points. Gobert was right behind him with 19 points of his own.
This win puts Oklahoma City at 11-12 on the season, which has them seventh in the Western Conference Standings. They are now 6-4 in their last ten. This loss for the Jazz drops them to 13-11, which puts them at one spot ahead of Oklahoma City in the Western Conference. They are 1-4 in their last 5, and 4-6 in their last ten.
Amidst the rumors heating up about who might be traded on this Thunder roster after December 15th, Oklahoma City is playing some of their best ball with a lot of their younger guys getting quite a bit of run. So despite who might be traded over the next few months, it is at least nice to know this team will still be pretty darn fun to watch when the young guys are called their numbers even more.
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