Thunder Offense Fizzles In Loss To Jazz
By Randy Renner, Senior Writer
The Thunder got off to a fast start with each of the Big 3 hitting shots while OKC got stops at the other end, forcing Utah into an 0-for-3 beginning with two turnovers tacked on for good measure.
But that 6-0 lead would be the biggest of the night and pretty much the only one.
Not quite eight minutes into the game the Thunder lead was gone for good and the Jazz built as much as a 20-point bulge in what would become a 96-87 Utah win in Salt Lake City.
Thunder coach Billy Donovan thought the game got away when his team tried to make passes from down in the paint instead of just powering to the rim.
“We had some opportunities to get downhill, especially in the first half, but we tried late interior passes. It would have been better going up and trying to finish and give ourselves a chance to offensive rebound.”
Russell Westbrook got to the line just four times and uncharacteristically hit just one of those free shots. Overall it was one of Westbrook's worst shooting nights and it was coming off of one of his most efficient.
The reigning MVP was just 2-for-11 overall and 1-for-5 on threes. He scored just six points.
The rest of his game was as stout as usual, grabbing 13 rebounds to lead the team and handing out nine assists.
“He’s always going to play aggressively,” Donovan said when asked about Westbrook.. “He’s always going to be in attack mode but I also think he’s trying to incorporate (new teammates) and get those guys to feel comfortable and put those guys in good positions where they can be successful and find guys. The timing and the rhythm and those things will come the more and more we play together.”
Carmelo Anthony led OKC with 26 points on 12-for-26 shooting, Paul George had 22 on 8-for-19. They were the only Thunder players in double figures.
Oklahoma City shot just 41.0 percent overall, 33.3 percent on threes and 63.2 percent (12-for-18) on free throws.
The Jazz hit 49.4 percent of their shots and scored 40 points in the paint.
Players will say one of the best things about the NBA is with so many games on the schedule you get a chance to wash the taste of a loss out quickly and the Thunder's chance comes very quickly hosting Minnesota tonight at 6 o'clock.