It’s a full(ish) moon, but I think more likely what affected this game was the return (yes!) of Kevin Durant, who came out doing very Kevin Durant-like things. The Jazz stayed close through a quarter or so, but OKC opened up in the second, outscoring Utah 40-26, and the Thunder maintained a 20-point lead, or close to it, the rest of the night. “Offensively challenged,” suggested radio guy Matt Pinto, and indeed the Jazz had trouble knocking down shots. The Utah defense, however, showed signs of stoutness, winning the rebound battle by five; the Thunder ended up just shooting over them. (Seriously. OKC made 11 of 27 treys, six of them from the reserve wingmen, Anthony Morrow and D. J. Augustin.) Downside for the Thunder: losing Mitch McGary to an ankle ailment in the last 100 seconds, giving up a 12-0 run to the Jazz in the waning moments, and letting the Jazz get 40 foul shots. Then again, they missed 12 of those freebies. The final was 111-89, the first time OKC has won in Salt Lake City since late 2013.
Batman and Robin, together again, were appropriately dangerous, KD collecting 27 points and Russell Westbrook turning in a 20-7-9. Once again, the Thunder reserves got busy, contributing 44 points to the cause. Only one oddity jumps out of the box score: Durant played 30:10, while Gordon Hayward, who had a team-high 19 for the Jazz, played — 30:10. At least we knew who was guarding whom, right?
Next opponents come from the East: Brooklyn on Wednesday and Detroit on Friday at the ‘Peake, followed by road games at Atlanta and Miami. I think right now what most people are thinking is “Please don’t let anything happen to KD.” Whether KD himself is thinking that, I couldn’t tell you.