OKC Handles Jazz at Home

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:17 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Mar 23, 2011 9:38 PM CDT

Grant Belcher
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Utah Jazz gave Oklahoma City their best shot, but it simply wasn’t good enough.

Utah came out strong but couldn’t keep up with the division-leading Thunder in a 106-94 OKC victory on Wednesday.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook started quickly for OKC. Durant made 10 of 11 free throws in the first quarter alone, and Westbrook had 12 points to give OKC a 32-25 lead after the first.

But Utah stuck with them, tying it at 42 at one point in the second before trailing the Thunder by five at the half.

The Jazz (36-36) gained their first lead of the game early in the third quarter, but OKC finished out the third on a 14-6 run and began to run away with the contest in the fourth quarter.

Utah was short several players, including forward Derrick Favors and starting point guard Devin Harris, who sat out with injuries.

But center Al Jefferson almost single-handedly kept his team in the game. Jefferson has historically played well against OKC and was no exception on Wednesday, racking up 32 points and 12 boards.

Westbrook led Oklahoma City with 31 points and added four rebounds and five assists. Durant had 29 points and shot 13 of 15 from the free-throw line.

Serge Ibaka got another double-double with 15 points, 13 boards and four blocks.

Oklahoma City is 10-2 in the month of March and improved to 19-5 in games following a loss.

The Thunder have three more home games in a row before they have to hit the road again.

OKC (46-24) will hit the court again Friday against the Timberwolves at 7 p.m.