This time Paul George burns the Jazz as Thunder cruise to easy victory

first_img Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder goes in to shoot in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz in Oklahoma City, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Kyle Phillips) Related It got as high as 29 at 106-77, but Utah’s reserves played better than Oklahoma City’s as Udoh (10 points), Dante Exum (9 points) and Georges Niang (5 points) forced OKC coach Billy Donovan to bring Westbrook and Schroder back in the game to make sure the Jazz didn’t get too close.“I thought the first three quarters we played really really well,” said Donovan. “The fourth was disappointing just the number of points we gave up and how we played to close the game out.”The Jazz and Thunder will play again next week when OKC visits Vivint Arena for a game on Dec. 22. Dear Momma: Utah Jazz’s Jae Crowder’s letter to late mother Helen Thompson Kyle Korver’s presence is giving Jazz more confidence in 3-point shooting Kyle Phillips, AP Kyle Phillips, AP For the second straight night, the Jazz got behind early and could never get back in the ball game.Unlike Sunday when they led by five early, only to get blitzed by a 17-0 Spurs’ run, the Jazz dug a hole early, falling behind 6-0 in a little over a minute, causing Snyder to call a quick timeout.“Before I called timeout, we turned it over once, gave up an offensive rebound, turned it over and gave up a bucket, then gave up a deep seal in transition,” Snyder said. “Some of those things are going to happen, but a lot of those things are within our control with more precision and guys being more determined with the ball.”The Jazz got down by 12 in the first quarter and cut it to 11 by halftime, but another slow start at the beginning of the third quarter knocked the Jazz back and a 15-2 run by the Thunder late in the quarter pushed the lead to 26 points. 4 takeaways from the Utah Jazz’s 122-113 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell signs as Stance socks brand ambassador Turnovers cost Jazz in loss to Thunder, just like Quin Snyder anticipated Utah Jazz’s green ‘Earned’ edition jersey design leaked OKLAHOMA CITY — Last spring, Oklahoma City forward Paul George was heavily criticized for his poor performance in the deciding Game 6 of the playoffs against the Utah Jazz when he had just 5 points on 2-of-16 shooting, including 0 for 6 from 3-point range in Utah’s clinching victory.You can’t say he made up for it Monday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena, seeing how it was just one of many regular-season games, but George was certainly a different player in his first game against the Jazz since that disastrous performance last April.George was unstoppable as he scored 31 points on 8-of-10 shooting, 5 of 6 from 3-point range and 10 of 12 from the free-throw line in helping lead the Thunder to a blowout 122-113 victory.Blowout, you say? Yes, the final score may look like a fairly close game, but make no mistake, the Thunder blew out the Jazz Monday night. They led by as many 29 points early in the fourth quarter before a spirited bunch of Jazz reserves, led by Ekpe Udoh made the score respectable in the end.“Paul George was terrific, what he did,” said Jazz coach Quin Snyder. “There were some things (we could have done) better but there were some plays he made that were big-time plays.”George had plenty of help from his teammates as Steven Adams scored 22 points. Dennis Schroder scored 23 points off the bench and Russell Westbrook had another triple-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, although he needed to come back in late in the game to accomplish his usual feat.Paul George was terrific, what he did. There were some things (we could have done) better but there were some plays he made that were big-time plays. – Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder“Adams was good too,” added Snyder. “We’ll see how many of those shots were really contested and how many came on breakdowns. Those guys gave great efforts, but we didn’t do enough on the defensive end collectively and that impacts everybody.”For the Jazz it was their second big loss in as many nights coming on the heels of a 110-97 loss at San Antonio on Sunday in a game they trailed by 21 points and the loss dropped them to 13-15 on the season.Meanwhile, the Thunder improved to 17-8 on the season, second-best in the competitive Western Conference, and are 17-4 since losing four straight to open the season, the best record in the NBA over that stretch.Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 19 points, while Rudy Gobert had another double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds. He also picked up his fourth technical foul of the season when he complained about his fifth foul early in the fourth quarter. Jae Crowder added 13 points, while Derrick Favors scored 12 and Ricky Rubio joined Udoh with 10 points.The Jazz are back home for a game against Miami Wednesday night, but then they head right back on the road for games against Orlando Saturday night in Mexico City and Monday night in Houston. Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) tries to get past Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Kyle Phillips) Karl Malone feels current Utah Jazz roster has all the tools to ‘finish what we started’last_img