Westbrook helps surging Thunder top Jazz
Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) - Russell Westbrook stuffed the stat sheet on Friday, netting 23 points to go with 13 rebounds, eight assists and seven steals as the Oklahoma City Thunder dropped the Utah Jazz, 106-94, at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Kevin Durant scored a game-high 25 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the floor and Kevin Martin contributed 19 points for the Thunder, who polished off a 3-0 homestand and have won four straight and seven of eight overall. Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins donated 12 points apiece in the victory.
"I thought Perkins and Russell really set the tone in that first quarter," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "Our enthusiasm for the game was outstanding. That was probably the most inspired you can play as a team."
Enes Kanter scored a team-high 18 points and pulled down seven boards, while Al Jefferson added 16 points and 11 boards for the Jazz, who had a two-game winning streak snapped. Paul Millsap, Mo Williams and Gordon Hayward each netted 13 points in a losing effort.
"I thought our guys showed a lot of character and continued to fight and try to get back in the game, but Westbrook had a couple of key steals against us and that kept us from getting back in the game," Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin remarked.
After a hotly contested first quarter which featured six ties and three lead changes, the Thunder held a 22-20 advantage.
A putback slam by Kanter with 8:29 on the second-quarter clock pulled the Jazz within 30-27, but the Thunder responded with a 10-3 burst, capped by a quick 7-footer by Durant, making it a 40-30 game with 5:20 to play before the half.
Randy Foye snapped the Oklahoma City run with a 3-pointer from the top of the arc to cut it down to a seven-point margin, but the Thunder stayed in front for the remainder of the half.
A layup by Martin gave Oklahoma City its largest lead of the opening 24 minutes, 50-36, and the defending Western Conference champs held a 54-42 advantage at the break.
Oklahoma City maintained a comfortable double-digit lead for the duration of the third stanza, as a pair of free throws by Martin late in the quarter made it an 83-65 game. Hayward ended the frame with an alley-oop slam, but the Jazz trailed 83-67 after three quarters.
Utah opened the final 12 minutes with a furious 15-5 surge the cut the deficit all the way down to 88-83 with 7:41 to play. The Thunder answered with a 9-2 push the widen the margin to 12 with 5:08 to go.
Oklahoma City led by double digits the rest of the way.
The Thunder have won nine of their past 12 versus the Jazz and have taken six of the eight meetings at home since moving to Oklahoma City ... The Thunder shot an efficient 52 percent from the floor, while the Jazz shot 41.3 percent from the field ... Oklahoma City won the battle in the paint, outscoring Utah, 52-38 ... Utah turned the ball over 19 times, which led to 25 Oklahoma City points.