NBA Basketball

98
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Oklahoma City 22 28 27 21 98
Utah 21 16 26 26 89
89
6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0021:00 ET7:00 PM CT0:00 , March 11, 2019
Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah  Attendance: 18,306

Thunder look to complete season sweep of Jazz

According to STATS
According to STATS

Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz

  1. Oklahoma City has won each of its last six regular-season meetings with Utah, the franchise's second-longest all-time regular-season winning streak against the Jazz (13 from 1980-83). With a win tonight, the Thunder would sweep the Jazz for the fifth time in franchise history and the first since 2015-16 (4-0).
  2. The Thunder fell to 3-6 since the All-Star break after a 118-110 loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles on Friday. Oklahoma City is allowing 119.6 points per game since the break after allowing 110.2 before, and its increase of 9.4 ppg is the largest in the NBA.
  3. Russell Westbrook scored 32 points in the loss, his sixth 30-point effort in his last 10 games after having none in his previous 13 contests. He is scoring 30.8 points per game since the All-Star break, third most in the NBA (minimum five games).
  4. Paul George has averaged 39.7 points in three games against Utah this season while shooting 60.6 percent from the field (40/66) and 51.7 percent from three (15/29). With 40 or more points tonight, he would be the first player all-time to have three 40-point games against the Jazz in a single season.
  5. The Jazz allowed the Grizzlies to shoot 51.1 percent on field goals in their 114-104 loss in Memphis on Friday, falling to 1-16 when allowing their opponents to make at least half of their field-goal attempts. Utah is 36-12 otherwise, including 27-3 when holding opponents to under 45.0 percent from the field.
  6. Donovan Mitchell had 38 points on Friday, including 20 in the fourth quarter, the highest-scoring fourth quarter by a Jazz player in the last 20 seasons. It was his 20th career 30-point game -- the only guards with more through two career seasons in the last 30 years are Allen Iverson (36) and Vince Carter (28).

The Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz have been trending in opposite directions since the Thunder's wild 148-147 double-overtime home win Feb. 22.

The Jazz have gone 5-2 since the loss to keep pace in a tight Western Conference race, sitting in a virtual tie for sixth place entering Monday's game against the Thunder in Salt Lake City.

The Thunder have gone 2-6 and are struggling to hold on to one of the top four spots in the West entering the final month of the regular season.

Both teams are coming off Friday road losses where 3-point struggles played a factor.

Utah fell by 10 at Memphis, making 18 3-pointers but needing a franchise-record 48 attempts to get there.

Oklahoma fell by eight to the Los Angeles Clippers after going 11 for 44 from beyond the arc.

Against the Clippers, both of the Thunder's stars -- Paul George and Russell Westbrook -- fouled out late, as did Steven Adams.

After the game, George criticized the officiating after the Clippers took 46 free throws -- a day after Portland took 47 against Oklahoma City.

"Someone's got to look into this," George said. "It's getting out of hand where we somehow just walk teams to the line, and there's nobody that gets more contact -- if I don't speak for myself, I'll speak for Russ -- there's nobody that gets more contact than Russ going to the basket. And it's just crazy. I don't understand it. It's a piece of (expletive) being on that floor and we're giving everything we got. We're playing hard. We're getting grabbed, scratched, clawed, held, shoved and there's nothing for it."

George was fined $25,000 by the NBA the next day for the criticism.

The Thunder have won all three meetings this season, including a 107-106 win in Utah on Dec. 22 where George had 43 points and 14 rebounds.

"We've got a big one Monday and we've got to be ready," Utah guard Donovan Mitchell said.

But while George has averaged 39.7 points per game against the Jazz this season, he has struggled in three games since returning from missing three with a sore shoulder, shooting just 31.3 percent from the field and making 25 percent of his 3-pointers during that stretch.

Utah figures to be thin at point guard, with both Ricky Rubio and Raul Neto ruled out.

Rubio also missed Friday's game with left hip tightness. Neto will be sitting out his sixth straight games with left hamstring tightness.

Both Rubio and Neto were limited participants in Sunday's practice.

Dante Exum hasn't played since Jan. 5 with a left ankle sprain and bone bruise but recently was fully cleared to return to practice. He is listed as probable.

A piece of the Jazz's recent success has been strong bench play since the All-Star break.

"Just us coming in with a lot of energy," Utah forward Royce O'Neale told the Salt Lake Tribune. "It starts with Jae (Crowder) and Kyle (Korver), or sometimes Jae and myself; we all gotta come out and be ready to play, come out and pick up where that first group leaves off."

--Field Level Media

Updated March 10, 2019

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