Jazz Gets Testy, Then Gets Schooled In Blowout Loss To Thunder

Wednesday, March 13th 2013, 11:02 pm
By: News 9

When none of your team's starters score double-digits, you score nine points in the second quarter, and you shoot 35 percent from the floor, you're probably in trouble.

That held true Wednesday night in Oklahoma City, as the Thunder completely obliterated the Utah Jazz 110-87 in a game that wasn't nearly as close as the score indicates.

The first quarter wasn't so bad as the Jazz still gave the illusion they were going to try at this point. OKC gradually pulled away to build a 29-19 lead after one, but the second quarter got ugly. Really ugly.

So ugly in fact, that David Stern should fine the entire Jazz organization for flopping. OKC outscored Utah 21-9, holding the Jazz to 3-24 shooting and shutting them out for the final 7:47 of the quarter. The listless Jazz missed 14 consecutive shots to end the period and the Thunder took a 50-28 lead into the half.

The second period tied the OKC-era franchise record for fewest points allowed in a quarter, while Utah's 28 first-half points was a season-low. Oklahoma City shot 51.5 percent in the half while Utah shot a pitiful 22.7 percent including 12.5 percent in the second quarter. Russell Westbrook led the way with 13 points, six boards and five assists in the first half, while Kevin Durant struggled, scoring just eight points while committing six turnovers.

Durant got on the right track to start the third, scoring the Thunder's first seven points as OKC increased its lead to 61-35.

But things got testy with just over five minutes left in the third. With the Thunder ahead 68-37, Durant rebounded DeMarre Carroll's missed layup, sprinted down the court, and an upset Carroll intentionally body-checked Durant to prevent a bucket. The fourth-year guard from Missouri was clearly upset by the lopsided score and took his frustrations out on the Thunder's superstar. OKC players immediately took exception to the cheap shot, including Westbrook who shoved and got in the face of Carroll.

Carroll was charged with a flagrant foul and Westbrook was assessed a technical for coming to Durant's defense.

The Thunder quickly moved past the incident as they continued to increase their lead. Meanwhile, Carroll and Utah continued to take their beating en route to their eighth loss in 10 games.

The second half was much more evenly matched once the Thunder pulled the starters midway through the third quarter. The extra rest might come in handy Friday night against Orlando or Sunday in Dallas, as the Thunder is in the middle of a four-game week.

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The Thunder had 12 players see action, 10 guys score, and nobody played more than 29 minutes.

Westbrook led the way with 19 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, while Durant recovered from his slow start to finish with 23 points, 10 boards and eight turnovers. Kevin Martin added 15 points off the bench, while Serge Ibaka chipped in 10 points in his 25 minutes. Reggie Jackson and Derek Fisher also reached double-figures off the OKC bench, scoring 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Oklahoma City improves to 48-17 on the season and is back within one game of the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. The Jazz (33-32) didn't have any starter reach double-figures and was led by Gordon Hayward's 20 points off the bench. Utah must now host red-hot Memphis Saturday night.