OKLAHOMA CITY —
Six players scored in double figures for Utah. Jefferson led the way with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Enis Kanter came off the bench to chip in 15 points. It was the type of performance the Jazz had been waiting on from their rookie from Turkey.
Durant had a game-high 24 points to go along with four blocks.
But it was Westbrook who provided the emotion and intensity on both ends of the court when the Thunder went flat. He tallied 21 points, eight assists and seven steals.
“He was great like he has been all year,” Martin said of Westbrook. “He has the keys to our car. He’s the point guard. We are following him, and tonight was a great example of him getting everybody involved and just having the will power to lead us to victory.”
In his return back to action, Utah’s Mo Williams didn’t waste any time finding his shot. Despite not playing for a week, he took six shots and scored 7 points in the first quarter. However, the Thunder still held a 22-20 advantage after first period.
Oklahoma City’s defense began to assert itself in the second period. Thabo Sefolosha, Westbrook and Eric Maynor forced Utah’s backcourt into numerous turnovers. It was the Thunder’s ability to turn the turnovers into fastbreak points that allowed it to increase its lead to 54-42 at halftime.
“We got some of the quickest players in the league on the wing and that’s how we have to play,” Brooks said. “Get deflections, get steals, get defensive stops. That’s what we talk about. That’s what we work on everyday. We want them to reward themselves with good work on the defensive end turn to easy buckets on offense.”
Michael KinneyFollow me @firstname.lastname@example.org