OKLAHOMA CITY -- For the past month, every time Utah has taken the court, it has been fighting for its playoff lives. It has no room for error.
Yet, that was not the way the Jazz took the court Wednesday. Facing Oklahoma City, Utah played as if the season was over as the Thunder won 110-87 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
With the L.A. Lakers losing also, Utah (33-32) remained one game behind the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Oklahoma City (48-18) didn't play up to its normal standards, either. Coming off its thrashing at the hands of San Antonio, Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks had hoped to see a better offensive showing. Instead, his team shot 50 percent from the field and racked up 25 turnovers.
But the Thunder's defense was good enough to earn the blowout victory and stay one game behind the Spurs for the best record in the conference.
Kevin Durant almost had a dubious triple double, posting 23 points, 10 rebounds and eight turnovers. It was also the second straight game he shot 7 for 13 from the field in 28 minutes.
Russell Westbrook added 19 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and five turnovers. Kevin Martin came off the bench to score 15.
No Utah starter reached double figures in points, rebounds or assists. Gordon Hayward paced the team with 18 points on 6-for-14 shooting. Al Jefferson had eight points and seven rebounds.
Led by Randy Foye, the Jazz jumped out to a quick 12-6 lead in the first quarter. The Thunder had no energy and Utah used the opportunity to beat them on the board and down the court.
After Brooks called a timeout, Oklahoma City went on a 23-7 run to end the first quarter. The Thunder led 29-19 heading into the second period.
Durant started out cold from the field with a 1-for-4 shooting performance. Several of his shots came when he drove into the paint and collided with Utah's big men. However, the league leader in free throw makes and percentage didn't get the foul calls. He also accounted for six turnovers in the first half.
As bad as Durant looked, the entire Jazz lineup was off their game. They shot 22.7 percent in the first two quarters and trailed Oklahoma City 50-28 at halftime. The Thunder held the Jazz to nine points in the second quarter, a record for the fewest points allowed in a quarter in the Oklahoma City era.
The Thunder made a concerted effort to get the ball to Durant in the third quarter and he went on the attack. He scored nine of the team's first 11 points and gave Oklahoma City a 61-35 lead.
The only real spirit the Jazz showed the entire night took place when DeMarre Carroll gave Durant a little hip check as the two cross halfcourt midway through the third. As the flagrant foul was being called, Westbrook got into Carroll's face and landed a well place forearm into his chest.
The players had to be separated and Durant had to calm Westbrook down. That was not enough to pick up the energy level for the rest of the team. Even though the two teams combined for five technical fouls, it was a one-sided fight.
NOTES: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Oklahoma City is on pace to become only the second team in NBA history to have a scoring champion not take the most shots on his team. Russell Westbrook leads the Thunder with 18.8 attempts per game while NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant is averaging 17.9. The only team to accomplish the feat was the 1954-55 Philadelphia Warriors. ... Utah's Paul Milsap returned to the starting lineup after sitting out Monday with a bruised right quad and patella. ... Coming down the stretch of the regular season, Utah is in a three-way fight for the final two Western Conference playoff spots with Los Angeles and Houston. However, coach Tyrone Corbin doesn't want his team to worry about the standings. "We can't afford to put too much energy in it as a team," Corbin said. "We will watch it as coaches. I want them to concentrate on who we are, what we need to do to continue to get better. And how we have to play every night out to stay in the race."