The Oklahoma City Thunder turned it around last night beating the Utah Jazz 90-80.
The Thunder defense held Utah – a team with a lot to play for right now – to 39.2 percent shooting after giving up 125 points to the New York Knicks on Sunday.
The Thunder also only shot 39.5 percent but they hit 9-of-21 threes and made 17-of-18 from the three throw line.
The big key was keeping Utah off the glass which the Thunder did, yielding just six offensive rebounds to them.
The Thunder also only turned the ball over nine times.
OKC did all of the things to win that they needed to considering they didn’t shoot well.
Here are the Game Grades:
Kevin Durant – 37 minutes, 21 points, 12 rebounds, 9 assists – B+
Durant came close to another triple-double and he tried his best to get it as he looked very hard for an assist in the final minutes of this game. He took only 10 shots in the game and made six of them. He was 1-of-2 from three and 8-of-8 from the free throw line. The rebounding was probably the most impressive thing Durant did yesterday and the most crucial against a Utah team that is very good at collecting offensive rebounds.
Russell Westbrook – 37 minutes, 25 points, 2 assists, 5 rebounds – B
It was KD’s turn to be the playmaker last night as Westbrook was mostly in attack mode. He went 8-of-21 from the field but seemed to dominate a little more than that. He had a few really nasty dunks too. Just one turnover from Russ makes the inefficient shooting very forgiveable.
Serge Ibaka – 32 minutes, 16 points, 8 rebounds, 5 blocks – B+
Ibaka was very aggressive in the game and made 8-of-14 shots. He really got going from midrange which is always such a confidence booster for him. He helped seal up the paint where Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap weren’t very effective by blocking five shots.
Kevin Martin – 28 minutes, 5 points, 1 rebound – D
Martin was extremely ineffective again making just 2-of-9 shots. It’s becoming very hard for Scott Brooks to rationalize playing him big minutes or in crunch time.
Kendrick Perkins – 29 minutes, 2 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists – C+
Perkins’ numbers don’t look good but he did a very solid job on the Utah bigs all night. That was his only job and he came through.
Thabo Sefolosha – 27 minutes, 12 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists – B+
When Martin doesn’t shoot well, the Thunder always need someone else to step up. Last night, it was Thabo. He only took threes and made 4-of-8 including three straight early in the game which was huge for the Thunder. They were leaving him open and really focusing on Durant which gave him these opportunities.
Nick Collison – 17 minutes, 2 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist – C+
Collison has had better games. You rarely see him go 1-for-5 from the field but Utah has some good big men who are long that make it tougher on Collison.
Reggie Jackson – 16 minutes, 4 points, 2 assists, 3 rebounds – B-
He went just 1-for-4 from the field as Brooks tried using him in the fourth quarter the same way he did vs. New York. Jackson had some success but not as much. Still it was a solid game for him.
Derek Fisher – 11 minutes, 3 points, 1 rebound, 2 steals – C
Just another very typical game from Fish. He went 1-for-4 from the field and did very little.
Hasheem Thabeet – 7 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound, 1 block – C+
Thabeet didn’t play much but did of course get a block while he was out there.
Scott Brooks – B+
Brooks got the guys to bounce back from a tough loss and play much better defensively. A lot of that credit has to go to him. The rotation was what we’ve come to expect. I liked the way he gave Jackson another chance in the fourth to run the show, even with Russ in there with him. That could be a good weapon in the playoffs.