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News » Jazz 'D' exposed


Jazz 'D' exposed


Jazz 'D' exposed Oklahoma City walked into EnergySolutions Arena on Tuesday night with one of the NBA's lowest-scoring, least-efficient offenses.

Just don't tell the 17,937 fans who watched the Thunder roll to a 104-94 win.

Oklahoma City was unstoppable in the second and third quarters, when it turned a 28-25 deficit into an 84-68 lead.

The Thunder did it by making 23 of 41 shots, including six of 13 from the three-point line, against a Utah defense that varied from soft to non-existent.

The only time the Thunder stopped scoring was after they built a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter and began over-working the shot clock. Otherwise, the Jazz didn't have an answer for Kevin Durant & Co.

Durant finished with 28 points. He made 11 baskets and had eight assists, meaning he had a direct hand in 19 of Oklahoma City's 37 field goals.

Asked why the Jazz had such a hard time stopping the previously punchless Thunder, Paul Millsap said, "Kevin Durant. ... He's a great player. He's difficult to guard. And he just hit shots. He made a lot of tough shots and, when we double-teamed him, he kicked the ball to the open man and they made shots."

Wesley Mathews agreed.

"They just hit shots. You have to give a lot of credit to them," he said. "We had some breakdowns on defense. There was some stuff we weren't doing but, whenever we slipped up a little bit, they were there to take advantage of it."

Maybe, but somebody has been stopping the Thunder this season.

Oklahoma City entered the game tied for 23rd in the NBA in scoring, 24th in field-goal percentage and 21st in three-point percentage.

Against Utah, however, the Thunder didn't start missing until the final 10 minutes. By then, it was too late for the Jazz to prevent the Oklahoma City's first win in Utah since the franchise relocated from Seattle.

"They are a quick team," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "... They pushed the ball up the floor on us and got some easy baskets."

Sloan was especially upset by the final sequence of the first half. After Memo Okur scored to cap an 8-0 run and give the Jazz a hard-earned 52-51 lead with 7.2 seconds left, Oklahoma City rushed the ball up without resistance. Jeff Green ended up being fouled with 2.7 seconds remaining. He hit two free throws.

"They scored," Sloan said, "because we couldn't get back down the floor after a made basket."

luhm@sltrib.com No defense

? The Jazz drop to 0-6 when their opponent scores more than 100 points. They are 7-1 when the opposition scores less than 100.

? The Thunder are 8-for-18 on three-pointers against Utah after going 3-for-23 in Sunday's 101-85 loss to the Lakers.

? Kevin Durant is 2-for-4 from the three-point line. In his previous three games, he was only 3-for-13 from the three-point line.


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 26, 2009

 

 
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