Salt Lake City, UT – Kevin Durant just missed a triple-double with 21 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, as the Oklahoma City Thunder dispatched the Utah Jazz, 90-80, on Tuesday at EnergySolutions Arena.
Russell Westbrook contributed 25 points and Serge Ibaka had 16 with eight rebounds and five blocks as the Thunder pulled within a half-game of idle San Antonio for the top seed in the Western Conference.
"We had great intensity," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "We came out with the mindset of getting stops every time down the court and we did that."
Oklahoma City, which was coming off a home loss to the surging New York Knicks on Sunday, was able to move its Northwest Division lead to 3 1/2 games ahead of Denver by recording a third straight road win.
The Lakers defeated New Orleans on Tuesday, which puts the Jazz a half-game behind Los Angeles for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. Utah has just three games left on its schedule.
"We need make sure we come out Friday against Minnesota here and be ready to do the things we need to do to win that game," said Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin. "They're not going to lay down and let us have it. Only thing we can control is what we do."
Mo Williams scored 19 points, Gordon Hayward had 17 and Al Jefferson finished with a 15-point, 11-rebound double-double for the Jazz, who had won seven of eight coming in.
The Thunder led nearly the whole way, building a nine-point lead on a fadeaway from Durant 8 1/2 minutes through the first.
The Jazz clawed within two, 26-24, after 5-0 spurt to start the second, but then fell victim to a 13-4 Oklahoma City run, capped by five straight points from Durant.
Utah entered halftime trailing, 45-35, but reduced its deficit to 68-61, thank heading into the fourth quarter. Hayward scored 10 in the third.
Westbrook's triple with 4:30 left in the game put OKC ahead by 12, and the Jazz only came with 84-80 after the completion of a 10-2 run with 23 seconds left.
The Jazz fell to 29-11 at home ... Oklahoma City improved to 17-4 in games following a loss ... Derrick Favors had eight points and eight rebounds for Utah.