Inconsistent is not an adjective often used to describe the Oklahoma City Thunder until now.
The Western Conference-leading Thunder will try to get back to their steady ways of winning when they pay a visit to the Utah Jazz tonight. The Thunder have alternated wins and losses over their previous seven games, and posted a 111-95 win versus Portland on Sunday in the OKC. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant scored 28 and 26 points, respectively, and James Harden added 14 off the bench for the Northwest Division-leading Thunder.
"The intensity was good on both ends," said Durant. "We played together and got stops."
Oklahoma City was able to halt a rare two-game slide at home and will work on their 15-7 road ledger Tuesday in Salt Lake City. Oklahoma City is 25-8 against the West this season (11-5 road) and 10-1 in games played following a loss.
Harden is averaging 20.7 points in his last seven games. After visiting the Jazz, Oklahoma City will return home to play Minnesota and Miami.
Utah has climbed back over the .500 mark, and has won three in a row and eight of its last 12 games. It kept the winning streak intact Sunday with a 103-99 victory against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center thanks to Paul Millsap's 24 points.
Enes Kanter and Alec Burks finished with 17 points apiece -- a new career-high for both -- while Derrick Favors, Josh Howard and Devin Harris all tallied 12 points for the Jazz, who ended LA's 10-game home winning streak and held superstar Kobe Bryant to 15 points.
"Our defense was aggressive tonight," said Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin. "Alec is a tremendous player. This was a great team win."
Utah has won five in a row at home and owns a 17-6 mark as the host. It is 10-5 against the West in Salt Lake City and sits tied with Phoenix at a half- game behind Houston for the final playoff spot in the conference.
The Jazz have lost both meetings with Oklahoma City this season, five straight overall and eight of the last 10 matchups. Utah is winless in three straight as the host in this series.