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Oklahoma City at Utah

Westbrook, Thunder topple Jazz

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SALT LAKE CITY -- With the Jazz focusing their attention on Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook was more than happy to be the star of the show.

"I was working on my shot all summer and I had lots of opportunities to shoot it tonight," Westbrook said. "I had openings I needed to take advantage of."

There were times Durant barely crossed halfcourt when Westbrook was already flying toward the hoop or spotting up for a jumper on his way to 28 points and helping the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Utah Jazz 101-87 on Friday.

The Thunder improved to 5-1 in games after a loss.

"This is what good teams do. We lost a tough one last night but we came in here and played a tough Utah team in their arena and come out with a win. That's a good sign," said Durant, who had 19 points the night after losing to Sacramento 106-101.

With Oklahoma City's win, the Thunder (21-6) have clinched the best record in the conference through games played Feb. 15, meaning coach Scott Brooks will lead the Western Conference All-Stars for the game on Sunday, Feb. 26, in Orlando, Fla.

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"That's great for our team and our organization. I feel truly blessed to be a part of what's going on with the Thunder right now," Westbrook said.

The Jazz appeared determined to limit Durant's offense -- he had only 10 field goal attempts -- but Westbrook found extra room to drive to the basket and created some fast breaks with five steals.

"I was taking what the defense was giving me," Westbrook said.

Serge Ibaka had 16 points and 11 rebounds and Kendrick Perkins added 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Jazz's big men often helped on Westbrook and Durant, allowing the Thunder to out-rebound Utah 46-32.

"Their bigs did a good job inside and between the two of them, they had eight offensive rebounds and that hurt us," Utah coach Ty Corbin said.

Al Jefferson led Utah with 20 points and Raja Bell and Gordon Hayward each had 13 points, but the Jazz dropped their fifth game in their past six.

Once Utah's reserves drew to 78-73 early in the fourth quarter, the Thunder answered with a 7-0 run, capped by Nick Collison's driving layup.

The Thunder finished their road trip with a 3-2 record.

Oklahoma City trailed for much of the first half until Durant scored on both ends of a 10-0 run that gave the Thunder a 46-40 lead with 2:15 until halftime.

"We didn't have a lot of things going for us early but we fought and stuck together," Brooks said. "The way we finished the game was good basketball."

Though they have played the most road games in the Western Conference, the Thunder have compiled a 12-5 away record and looked fresh in the fourth quarter, relentlessly crowding the Jazz on defense.

The Jazz, meanwhile, have played 16 games at home (11-5) and the offense is beginning to sputter no matter where they are playing.

Utah hasn't reached 100 points in its past four outings and didn't get close Friday -- even though the Thunder had given up at least 106 points on each of the other four games of the road trip.

"They were aggressive and we got stuck in one mode and were never able to transition into something else to see what would happen," Bell said.

The Jazz took their last lead at 58-56 on Jefferson's jumper with 7:28 left in the third. But Westbrook scored six in a 16-4 run to boost the Thunder to a 72-62 lead.

In a three-minute span in the first half, Earl Watson found C.J. Miles for three alley-oop dunks with Durant trailing the plays. But the Thunder found their defensive stride in the second half.

"We gave up some easy baskets early but we locked down after that and didn't let them have what they wanted," Durant said.

The game marked one year since the abrupt resignation of longtime Jazz coach Jerry Sloan and the hiring of Ty Corbin. Corbin is 21-32 as a head coach.

Notes

  • The Jazz signed free agent forward DeMarre Carroll on Thursday after Denver waived him, but he did not dress.
  • Thabo Sefolosha missed his eighth game with a sore right foot.
  • Westbrook has averaged more than 30 points against the Jazz in the past three games.
  • Paul Millsap was averaging 25.5 points on 64.1 percent shooting in his past four games against the Thunder before going 4 of 15 for just 10 points in this one.
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 (28 points) averages over 30 against the Jazz in the last three games. (US Presswire)
Russell Westbrook (28 points) averages over 30 against the Jazz in the last three games. (US Presswire)
Scoreboard
Oklahoma City (21-6) «27222527101
Utah (13-12)3014212287
OKC:R. Westbrook 28 Pts
OKC:S. Ibaka 11 Reb
OKC:R. Westbrook 3 Ast
UTA:A. Jefferson 20 Pts
UTA:P. Millsap 9 Reb
UTA:D. Harris 7 Ast
Players of the Game
Oklahoma CityUtah

Russell Westbrook

Al Jefferson
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
28632084

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Oklahoma City
K. Durant, SF386-106-652219
R. Westbrook, PG3410-207-863128
S. Ibaka, PF337-102-4112116
K. Perkins, C313-54-4102510
D. Cook, SG231-90-01023
J. Harden, SG352-86-852411
N. Collison, PF172-20-04034
N. Mohammed, C143-40-03016
R. Jackson, PG141-62-21114
R. Ivey, PGDid Not Play
T. Sefolosha, SFDid Not Play
E. Maynor, PGDid Not Play
C. Aldrich, CDid Not Play
L. Hayward, SFDid Not Play
R. Reid, PFDid Not Play
Totals 35-7427-32461220101
 47.3%84.4% 
Utah
A. Jefferson, C349-182-384220
P. Millsap, PF344-152-294310
G. Hayward, SF336-101-224313
R. Bell, SG304-52-221113
D. Harris, PG285-71-207611
E. Watson, PG200-10-01610
C. Miles, SF194-90-01128
J. Howard, SF151-50-04022
D. Favors, PF143-60-20016
E. Kanter, C142-40-05004
J. Tinsley, PGDid Not Play
A. Burks, PGDid Not Play
J. Evans, SFDid Not Play
Totals 38-808-1332272187
 47.5%61.5% 
Other Games
Atl 89 Final
Orl 87
LAC 78 Final
Phi 77
Mia 106 Final
Wash 89
Bos 74 Final
Tor 86
Chi 95 Final
Char 64
Mil 113 Final
Cle 112
NJ 92 Final
Det 109
Port 94 Final
NO 86
Dal 104 Final
Min 97
LAL 85 Final
NY 92
Ind 92 Final
Mem 98