Gordon Hayward scores 37 as Jazz defeat Thunder

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Gordon Hayward finished with 37 points and added 11 rebounds to lead the Utah Jazz to a victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder, 112-101. The Jazz were on fire, finishing 40-68 (58.8%) from the field and 24-31 (77.4%) at the free throw line. Utah (12-25) picked up the win after falling to Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.

Hayward finished 13-16 from the field (2-3 on 3-pointers) and 9-13 from the free throw line, in a quality offensive outing. Other key players for Utah included Derrick Favors with 15 points and 5 rebounds, and Trey Burke with 10 points and 6 rebounds. Kevin Durant had another strong performance for Oklahoma City in the loss, scoring 48 points on 14-34 shooting (3-13 on 3-point attempts), in addition to going 17-19 from the free throw line. He also tallied 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals. Reggie Jackson contributed 20 points and 6 assists.

In a matchup between elite defenses, Utah reigned supreme. They rank fifth in the NBA in defensive efficiency this season (106.69), and held Oklahoma City to just 1.03 points per possession. Along with their eFG% of 64.7%, the Jazz connected at a rate of 44.4% from 3-point range. On the season, they are undefeated (5-0) when they record marks above 55% and 40% in those respective categories. Conversely, the Thunder are winless (0-2) when allowing their opponents to reach those percentages.

This drops Oklahoma City (27-8) to 2-1 against Utah on the year.

Coming up, the Jazz square off with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are 12-23 on the season. The Thunder match up against the Denver Nuggets, currently sitting at 17-17 this year. The Thunder have won their last two meetings with Denver.

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