The Oklahoma City Thunder played their first meaningful basketball game in months on Saturday. Instead of showing rust, they showed up prepared to make a statement. The result was a wire to wire victory over the Utah Jazz. The final score read 110-94 In favor of OKC, but that doesn’t do their performance justice.
The Jazz had the advantage of already having a seeding game under their belt. They beat the Pelicans on Thursday night in the first game of the resumed season. Instead of coming out sharper than the Thunder, the exact opposite happened.
Thunder Dominate 1st Half
The Thunder overwhelmed the Jazz right out of the gate on Saturday. Danilo Gallinari scored 11 points in the opening quarter, leading the way for OKC as they outscored Utah 29-15 as a team. By halftime, the lead had grown to 24 behind the efficient Thunder offense. They shot 64.9% from the field, including 50% from deep, in the first 24 minutes.
CP3 remained aggressive with the big lead late in the half. Look at the finish here to lay it in after getting the call.
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) August 1, 2020
By the time each team went to the locker room, the Jazz seemed deflated. Allowing an opponent to score so consistently can take the energy out of any team in quick fashion.
Defense Locked In
The Thunder brought their best on defense in this one. Facing a Jazz team lacking scoring options behind Donovan Mitchell, OKC made sure no one, including Mitchell, got going offensively. No Utah player scored more than 13 points in the game. It’s important to note, the Jazz are without Bojan Bogdanovic for the rest of the season. He was the team’s second-leading scorer at 20.2 per game before getting hurt.
The Jazz hit on just 25.8% of their 3’s. That’s an area of strength for the Thunder, as they’ve held opponents to the 4th lowest 3pt % in the league this season. When they caught fire on offense and continued to execute defensively, there was nothing Utah could do to get control of the game.
Thunder Player Notes:
CP3’s incredible season continued on Saturday. The 35-year-old guard had 18 points to go with his 7 assists and 7 rebounds in 27 minutes. He had a team-high +/- of +27 in the game.
Gilgeous-Alexander led the team in scoring with 19 points. He also played a team-high 32 minutes.
Adams had 16 points and 11 rebounds on an efficient 7-10 shooting.
Oklahoma City will play the Denver Nuggets tomorrow August 3. Denver is coming off a loss to the Miami Heat.
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