Oklahoma City Thunder (36-29, 24-9 home) vs. Utah Jazz (41-24, 19-12 away)
Saturday, March 11 :: 2:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
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: Oklahoma City is a 2-point favorite. O/U is 202½.
Notes: Thunder: here | Jazz: here
SETTING THE SCENE
- The Oklahoma City Thunder couldn’t beat the Phoenix Suns. So, of course the Thunder are coming off a 102-92 win over the San Antonio Spurs from Thursday night.
- Oklahoma City welcomes the Utah Jazz into Oklahoma City for their final meeting of the season, the Thunder lead the regular season series 2-1.
- Utah has won four in a row coming into today’s game. They seem to struggle with the Thunder.
- Oklahoma City is 3-1 in daytime games.
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).
WIN OVER THE SPURS HIGHLIGHTS
- The Thunder used a 15-3 run in the middle of the second quarter to gain a double-digit advantage. In the second half, the Thunder lead grew to as many as 20 points. With the win, OKC has now won five of its last six home games.
- Westbrook finished with his 31st triple-double of the season, tying him with Wilt Chamberlain for second-most triple-doubles ever in a season.
- Victor Oladipo was the team’s second-leading scorer with 20 points in 28 minutes, his 14th 20-plus point game of the season.
- Enes Kanter recorded his 15th double-double of the season, 14 points and 10 rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench.
- Taj Gibson made his first start with the Thunder, turning in seven points, three rebounds and a block.
SCOUTING THE JAZZ
- The Utah Jazz are 41-24 on the season, fourth in the Western Conference.
- The Jazz are 7-3 in their last 10 games.
- Oklahoma City is 23-11 all-time vs. Utah in the Oklahoma City era.
- At the Peake, the Thunder are 14-2 all-time vs. utah.
- Oklahoma City has won 11 in a row at home vs. Utah.
- The Thunder are 2-1 vs. Utah in the regular season.
- Oklahoma City beat Utah 109-106 on Feb. 28. Westbrook had a 43-point triple-double.
- Utah beat Houston on Wednesday, March 8.
- Shelvin Mack (ankle) is out.
- Derrick Favors (knee) is a game-time decision.
- George Hill (toe) 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 Halloween 2010.
RUSSELL WESTBROOK TRIP-DUBS
- Russell Westbrook has 68 career triple-doubles, that’s best for sixth all-time.
- 20 of the 68 are against Houston, Orlando, Washington, Minnesota, and Philadelphia. He has four against each team.
- Russell Westbrook seven triple-doubles in a row this season is the most since 1989 when Jordan had seven in a row and 10 in 11 games.
- Westbrook is fifth all-time in triple-doubles.
ALL-TIME TRIPLE-DOUBLE LIST
WESTBROOK TRIPLE-DOUBLE CAREER LIST[table “” not found /]
- Oklahoma City is relatively healthy.
50 IS NIFTY
- On March 24, the Thunder claimed a 22-point home victory over the Jazz and in the process, OKC recorded the team’s 50th win of the season.
- Oklahoma City has now finished with a winning percentage of .610 (equivalent to 50 wins) six times dating back to the 2009-10 season.
- Only the San Antonio Spurs (seven seasons with .610 winning percentage), have reached that benchmark more during this period.
STILL GOOD ODDS
- According to Sportsbook, the Oklahoma City Thunder have the eighth best odds to win the Larry O’Brien trophy.
- They have the fifth best odds to win the Western Conference behind, the Clippers, Spurs, Rockets, and the Warriors.
- Oklahoma City goes on the road to Brooklyn on Tuesday, March 14.
- Brooklyn is 11-53 on the season, worst in the NBA.
- The Nets are 2-8 in their last 10 games.
- Brooklyn and Oklahoma City did battle back in November, Thunder prevailing 124-105.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Defend the three
When Utah beat the pants off the Thunder, Utah was on fire from three and there was really nothing we can do about it. You have to find a way to limit the other shooters because Gordon hayward is going to get his. If you limit Joe Ingles and Joe Johnson like they have over the last few games, the Thunder will have a shot.
We’ve seen the Thunder play really strong fourth quarters. Oklahoma City has the most fourth quarter comebacks (9). They have to close the other three quarters strong, too. Especially since the last two Thunder games, the Thunder have seen Utah fight down to the last seconds. Oklahoma City has to, if they can, not let it get to that point.
It’s easy to say but it’s more than true. Utah is only 9-17 when they score under 100 points. They’re 32-7 when they score at least 100 points. Utah iss 13-7 when both teams score 100 points. So, Oklahoma City has to score some points while defending. My Herbstreit analogy is complete.