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Oklahoma City at Utah

Westbrook, Durant lead Thunder victory over Jazz

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SALT LAKE CITY -- Russell Westbrook made yet another 3-point shot, drew both his index fingers to his lips, and blew. He pretended to load his hands back into holsters and broke into a big smile.

Westbrook and the Thunder were hot and he knew it.

"Whatever my team needs me to do, I am ready. If that's scoring, that's what I'll do, and tonight I was firing away," said Westbrook, who scored 33 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Utah Jazz 121-105 Saturday night for their fifth win in six games.

Westbrook made all four of his 3-point attempts to help the Thunder shoot a season best 13 of 21 on 3-pointers. Kevin Durant scored 21 points and Jeff Green added 20.

"Russell was phenomenal from the 3-point line. He was unconscious out there," Durant said. "Coach called a lot of plays to get Russell in the pick-and-roll, because we knew we could exploit them. Russell is a great pick-and-roll player and so I just became a second or third option."

Paul Millsap led Utah with 34 points and 10 rebounds and Al Jefferson contributed 21 for the Jazz, who lost their 10th game at home this season.

"They penetrated and kicked the ball out to guys who shot the ball and they did a terrific job shooting the basketball," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said.

Durant converted a three-point play to open the fourth quarter give the Thunder a 95-81 lead.

Millsap, who had his fourth 30-plus scoring performance this season, countered with six straight points for the Jazz.

But Durant came right back to spark a 7-0 run with a 3-pointer and capped it with two free throws to give Oklahoma City a 102-87 lead with 8:27 to play. The Jazz only got within single digits once the rest of the way.

"They hit a few of those shots outside with a hand in their face. So that's tough. You play good defense and they hit a shot anyway," Millsap said.

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Hampered by slow starts all season, the Jazz began the game by making their first 11 shots. Utah is the first NBA team to start a game 11 for 11 since Detroit did it against Milwaukee on Feb. 19, 2010.

But the Thunder, behind James Harden and Eric Maynor, worked their way back into the game when Durant and Westbrook were on the bench.

"We started out terribly but our second unit sparked us in that second quarter. They gave us some energy and got some stops," said Durant, who saw Utah's 11-point lead evaporate to 2 by the time he returned in the second quarter.

A night after they beat Phoenix 111-107, the Thunder played fast after Utah's initial burst. Oklahoma City is now 6-3 on the second night of back-to-back sets.

Deron Williams had 14 points and 11 assists in his second game back after missing four games with a strained tendon in his right wrist. But Williams and the Jazz looked winded in the second half as the Thunder blew past them.

"They sucked the life out of us," Williams said. "We tried everything [on the pick-and-roll] but I didn't do a good job. They just picked us apart."

Raja Bell also scored 14 for Utah, which has gone 3-9 in the last three weeks. The Jazz attempted 18 3-point shots and made just three.

The Thunder's long-range marksmanship may have caught the Jazz by surprise as they tried to crowd the lane to stop the drives of Westbrook and Durant. The Thunder have the second-lowest 3-point percentage in the league at 32.8 and the last time the Thunder made more than half their 3-point shots was on New Year's Eve with 10 of 18 in a 103-94 win over Atlanta.

On Saturday, outside accuracy opened everything up for the Thunder.

"Tonight we caught fire. It was a lot of fun," Durant said.

Notes

  • Andrei Kirilenko missed his third straight game with a sprained left ankle and Mehmet Okur sat out with a strained lower back.
  • Nick Collison received six stitches after trying to take a charge midway through the second quarter.
  • The last time the Jazz made 11 field goal attempts to start a game was March 11, 1998 when they hit their first 12 against Sacramento.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Russell Westbrook scores a team-high 33 points while leading the Thunder to victory over the Jazz.   (Getty Images)
Russell Westbrook scores a team-high 33 points while leading the Thunder to victory over the Jazz. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Oklahoma City (33-17) «27353029121
Utah (30-22)37202424105
OKC:R. Westbrook 33 Pts
OKC:K. Durant 12 Reb
OKC:R. Westbrook 10 Ast
UTA:P. Millsap 34 Pts
UTA:P. Millsap 10 Reb
UTA:D. Williams 11 Ast
Players of the Game
Oklahoma CityUtah

Russell Westbrook

Paul Millsap
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
3331034106
Oklahoma City
K. Durant, SF387-175-5124221
R. Westbrook, PG3510-159-10310333
J. Green, PF308-92-200220
N. Krstic, C214-84-441412
T. Sefolosha, SF181-30-01512
J. Harden, SG275-92-465314
S. Ibaka, PF251-30-04132
N. Collison, PF161-40-11132
D. Cook, SG141-10-03013
E. Maynor, PG134-40-003110
R. Ivey, PG20-10-00000
D. White, PF21-20-00012
M. Peterson, SGDid Not Play
B. Mullens, CDid Not Play
C. Aldrich, CDid Not Play
Totals 43-7622-26343024121
 56.6%84.6% 
Utah
A. Jefferson, C407-127-982321
R. Bell, SG365-81-233114
D. Williams, PG366-152-2411314
P. Millsap, PF3615-204-5106434
G. Hayward, SF242-42-21206
C. Miles, SF242-112-43046
E. Watson, PG150-22-21202
F. Elson, C101-20-00012
R. Price, PG91-20-01032
J. Evans, SF61-20-01002
K. Fesenko, C51-20-14112
A. Kirilenko, SFDid Not Play
M. Okur, CDid Not Play
Totals 41-8020-27362720105
 51.2%74.1% 
Other Games
Atl 99 Final
Wash 92
Dal 101 Final
Char 92
Port 111 Final
Cle 105
LAL 101 Final
NO 95
Mem 93 Final
Hou 95
Det 89 Final
Mil 78
Den 113 Final
Min 100
Chi 90 Final
GS 101