Thunder 95, Jazz 73

Michael Kinney, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Forward Serge Ibaka scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the Utah Jazz 95-73 Sunday at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Forward Kevin Durant added 19 points on 3-of-9 shooting to go along with nine rebounds. Guard Jeremy Lamb came off the bench to score 15 points in the win.
Utah had only two players reach double figures in scoring. Center Eric Kanter and forward Rudy Gobert each scored 10 points to lead the Jazz off the bench. Forward Richard Jefferson and center Derrick Favors posted eight points each.
The Jazz (1-14) were on pace to set a season low in points until guard Alec Burks hit a free throw with 8.9 seconds left in the game to match the 73 points it scored Nov. 8 against Chicago.
Utah didn't help its cause at all on the night. It shot 39 percent from the field and was just 13-for-29 from the free-throw line. The Jazz were also outrebounded 46-33.
Despite playing shorthanded, Oklahoma City started its game against Utah in a business-like manner. Ibaka put it on display in the first quarter when he scored six points and grabbed five rebounds. That included him flying in to grab a rebound and tip dunk back over the Jazz front line.
Oklahoma City (9-4) held a 22-13 advantage after the first quarter.
Utah tried to keep the game close by going to guard Gordon Howard and center Derrick Favors. But the Thunder's defense on the Jazz's top two players was solid. They combined for 10 points and 10 rebounds in the first half.
Oklahoma City got production from every player that touched the floor. Forward Perry Jones and Lamb came off the bench and helped spark the team to a 47-30 halftime lead.
Thunder kept up their attack in the third quarter and slowly began to open up a 30-point lead. Guard Reggie Jackson, who started his first game since the return of Russell Westbrook, drove through the lane for layups.
The only drama came from the verbal back and forth between Durant and Utah forward Richard Jefferson. After Jefferson was called for a foul on Durant early in the period, the two exchanged words for the rest of the period.
But it did nothing to slow down the Thunder, who took a 32-point lead into the fourth quarter. Starters for both teams stayed on the bench in the fourth quarter.
NOTES: Oklahoma City G Russell Westbrook sat out Sunday's game against Utah. According to coach Scott Brooks, it was a chance to get his All-Star point guard rest during the middle of a long homestand. "We are just resting him," Brooks said. "It's very rare you can look at your schedule and you're going to have one game in five days." ... After falling behind by 28 points Friday at Dallas, Utah coach Tyrone Corbin shook up his starting lineup in Oklahoma City. In place of G John Lucas III and C Enes Kanter, he inserted Michigan rookie Trey Burke at point guard and forward Marvin Williams. Burke was inactive the first 12 games due to surgery on his right index finger. ... Utah G Diante Garrett played in his first game against the Thunder since he was waived by Oklahoma City in the preseason. Garrett began the regular season with the Iowa Energy in the D-League. Since being called up to the Jazz, he's averaged 5.0 points and 4.5 assists in 17 minutes of action.

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