By Randy Renner
Thunder backup point guard Reggie Jackson is back on the shelf today because of that sprain in his mid-back area.
Jackson warmed up before the game but was moving pretty gingerly. Jackson also missed Friday's game with Sacramento and was held out of practice Saturday. Jackson is averaging 13.3 points a game this season and has started 33 games.
Russell Westbrook will start today point guard and remains on a 32 minutes per game restriction. Rookies Andre Roberson and Steven Adams will continue to fill-in for injured starters Thabo Sefolosha and Kendrick Perkins.
OKC has played only 20 games this season with the regular five starters in place (17-3) and is 4-1 with the group that makes up the starting lineup today.
The Jazz are getting closer to getting guard Alec Burks back in the lineup from a sprained left ankle. Burks will be a game time decision this afternoon. He has missed the last four games with a sprained left ankle.
"He looked good in practice yesterday and he's warming up so we'll see how he feels and go from there," said Jazz head coach Ty Corbin a few minutes ago in the back hallway.
The Thunder have won five of their last six and seven of their last nine games overall. The Jazz have lost three straight and 14 of their last 16 games, but the last time these two teams played the Jazz beat the Thunder 112-101 in Salt Lake City.
That was back in January and Gordon Hayward dropped a career-high 37 points on the Thunder.
"He was making shots that night, I think he only missed two or three," Thunder head coach Scott Brooks remembered. "He was coming off screens clean and getting open looks and that's a problem." A problem the Thunder hope to solve this afternoon.
Thunder superstar Kevin Durant has scored at least 25 points in 37 straight games and he's averaging 36.3 points in the three previous meetings with Utah this season so chances appear good that he will extend that streak today.
Oklahoma City has splashed at least nine threes in each of the last 11 games.
Today's 2 o'clock tipoff is part of an experiment for the Thunder, seeing how fans react to an early afternoon Sunday game. Normally Thunder games that are not being nationally televised start at 6 o'clock on Sundays.
The Thunder are 11-4 on Sundays this season.
Remember our cameras will be in the Thunder lockerroom after the game for reaction so click back later today for that and our gameday photo gallery goes live at tipoff.