The Jazz scored nine points in the second quarter. Think about that for a moment. Nine points in twelve minutes. Reggie Miller once scored eight points in less than nine seconds. The only question at that point was how much the margin of loss would be. The Thunder were up 50-28 at the half; Utah managed 28 points more in the third quarter and 31 in the fourth, but by then it was too late. OKC stomps yet another Western opponent at home, 110-87.
Despite the seeming one-sidedness of it all, there was a lot going on, much of it unpleasant: five technicals were assessed, along with 52 “other” fouls, two of them deemed Flagrant. The Jazz went a creditable 27-33 from the stripe, the Thunder 29-33. Away from the stripe, though, Utah wasn’t hitting; they were below 30 percent at the half, and managed to improve only to 35. (The Jazz put up 11 more shots than the Thunder, but hit nine fewer.) Then again, Utah had “only” 18 turnovers; OKC coughed it up 24 times.
With stuff like that going on, actual scoring seems irrelevant. For the Jazz, Gordon Hayward and Enes Kanter, reserves who played more minutes than the starters, were the only two players in double figures, Hayward getting 20, nearly half again his average. Kevin Durant had 23 (and ten boards) to lead the Thunder; Russell Westbrook checked in with 19, and the bench put up good numbers, led by Kevin Martin with 15.
The none-too-tricky Magic will wander into the city on Friday night. At this point, the best thing you can say about Orlando is that they’re still three games ahead of Charlotte.