Sadly out of tune

Second night of a back-to-back? Check. Opponent with a winning record? Check. Game on the road? Check. Shooting under 40 percent? [sigh] Check. The Jazz were all over the Thunder tonight, and the occasional flash of Oklahoma City brilliance was snuffed out every time. In desperation, Russell Westbrook, after missing a four-foot jumper inside the three-minute mark, apparently fouled the nearest Jazzman just to get out of there; a timeout was called, and the benches were emptied. Utah really thrashed the Thunder, 109-89, and moved one game ahead of OKC in the Northwest Division standings. (Portland, to whom the Thunder lost last night, remains in third.)

Exactly one Thunder player showed up more plus than minus: Nick Collison, +9 in 16 minutes. (Weirdly, Collison and Kyle Singler played exactly 16:18 and scored two points each, but Singler was -12. Timing is everything.) Westbrook had a fairly blah night, 27-6-5 on 7-25 shooting; OKC overall was 30-82, 36 percent. As usual, Enes Kanter led the bench with 19; not as usual, he drew a technical, and there was a brief furor when it looked like he might get a second one and an all-expense-paid trip to the locker room. Since the Jazz feel about Kanter about the way the Thunder feels about Reggie Jackson — well, never mind.

Both Alec Burks and George Hill were out for Utah, but the Jazz didn’t need them; Rodney Hood was, if not on fire, certainly close to kindling temperature, scoring 25 points in 31 minutes. Rudy Gobert had the night’s only double-double, with 12 points and 12 rebounds. The Jazz shot 58 percent, high enough that seeing Shelvin Mack lead the reserves with 15 points didn’t seem all that amazing.

After a dispiriting road trip, the Thunder are back home Saturday afternoon with the threat of snow and the arrival of the Phoenix Suns, followed by the Atlanta Hawks on Monday.

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