Thunder upend Jazz 101-87
SALT LAKE CITY – Russell Westbrook scored 28 points and Kevin Durant had 19 points to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Utah Jazz 101-87 on Friday night.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks will coach the Western Conference All-Stars for the game on Sunday, Feb. 26, in Orlando, Fla.
With Oklahoma City's win, the Thunder (21-6) have clinched the best record in the conference through games played Feb. 15.
The Jazz seemed 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.
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 the Jazz 46-32.
Al Jefferson led Utah with 20 points while 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 within 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.
The Thunder 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.
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.
Meanwhile, the Jazz have played 16 games at home (11-5) and the offense is beginning to sputter no matter where the Jazz are playing.
The Jazz haven't reached 100 points in their past four outings and didn't get close Friday though the Thunder had given up at least 106 points on each of the other four games of the road trip.
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.
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.