Game Recap: Thunder 115 – Jazz 108

Game Details

9:00 PM ET, November 16th, 2010
Energy Solutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

1 2 3 4 Final
OKC 27 31 35 22 115
UTA 33 23 29 23 108

Top Performers
Oklahoma City: S. Ibaka 22 Pts, 11 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 4 Blk
Utah: D. Williams 31 Pts, 5 Reb, 11 Ast, 1 Stl Box Score


No excuses to be made, the Thunder just plain won the game.

Oklahoma City, coming off an ugly 117-104 loss to the Spurs, came to Salt Lake with something to prove, and proceeded to prove it. In a lot of ways, this game was an antithesis of the 4 games the Jazz played last week. The Jazz came out strong in the first quarter, opening a 4-13 lead. Three minutes into the game, however, Durant drew a foul and made his first two free throws of the night (he went on to hit 16 for 16 from the line). Slowly but surely, the Thunder minimized the initial damage done and caught up with the Jazz by the end of the half.

The Thunder got hot in the 3rd quarter, going 14-20 and winding up with 35 points. They also continued to impress at the free throw line (more on that in a second). The Jazz managed to keep in the game, though they had fallen to an 8 point deficit by the end of the 3rd.

The stage was set for another late game Jazz comeback, and for a while, it looked like they were on pace to do just that. The Jazz pulled it to three with a minute to go, but ultimately, they couldn’t find the magic to do any more than that. There was a notable no-call as Kirilenko drove to the basket with 20 seconds left. Clearly, he had hoped to get the foul so that he could get to the line, and threw up a wild shot after he felt the contact. Unfortunately, his shot missed and he didn’t get the call. Ultimately, though, it probably wouldn’t have mattered. The best case scenario was for the Jazz to get the ‘And 1’ and tie it up, but it probably wouldn’t have changed what the Thunder did after that. Oklahoma City was deadly from the line, and the Jazz would have had to foul them again to get the ball back.

From a statistical point of view, this was an exceptionally tight game:

  • Jazz FG% – 50.7%
  • Thunder FG% – 50.6%
  • Jazz steals – 8
  • Thunder steals – 9
  • Jazz rebounds – 34
  • Thunder rebounds – 39
  • Jazz assists – 25
  • Thunder assists – 18
  • Jazz turnovers – 12
  • Thunder turnovers – 12

The difference? You guess it, free throws. The Jazz shot 18-22 (81.8%) while the Thunder shot an amazing 33-34 (97.1%). It was truly an impressive thing to watch, as each shooter knocked down his free throws like he was in practice.

This from Coach Sloan:

“We can’t guard free throws. I guess maybe we could get Bear to help distract ’em”.

The Thunder looked threatening as people have expected them to be last night. It’s quite the talented squad, and its easy to see what kind of damage they could do in the Western Conference this season.

The Jazz play again tomorrow night in Salt Lake vs. the Nets.

Game Quotes

Jerry Sloan

“I thought they played extremely well, they made their shots, every time we tried to give a little help in there, they seemed to get the right man to get the shot. The offensive rebounds hurt us more than I think it should have, but you have to give them credit. They were desperate for a win and wanted to get one, and they came out in our building and beat us.”

Deron Williams

“They definitely played well. They had a tough home loss last night and you could see they wanted to bounce back. We had opportunities to put them away. You look at those second and third quarters where they scored 31 and 35 points. That is way too many points to give up in a quarter. They shot 50 percent, that is too high to shoot, it all points to defense. We did a better job executing tonight but we didn’t get enough stops.”

“We can still get a lot better. I think that is the good thing about the team; we still have a ways to go and we have a pretty good record. We are not going to hang our heads over one loss. We just got to bounce back. We have a couple more at home. We have not had much time to practice and work on things because we have had so many games, so tomorrow will be a good day to get some good practice in.”

Andrei Kirilenko

“I think (the Thunder) played as a team tonight. They concentrated, not only getting the ball to (Kevin) Durant, but the rest of the guys were at the right spot and hit the open jumpers. It’s a very tough match- up.”

Quotes from the Salt Lake Tribune

~ by djepperson on November 16, 2010.

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