Durant guides Thunder over Jazz

By
Updated: April 10, 2013

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Kevin Durant just missed a triple-double
with 21 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, as the Oklahoma City Thunder
dispatched the Utah Jazz, 90-80, on Tuesday at EnergySolutions Arena.

Russell Westbrook contributed 25 points and Serge Ibaka had 16 with eight
rebounds and five blocks as the Thunder pulled within a half-game of idle San
Antonio for the top seed in the Western Conference.

“We had great intensity,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “We came out with
the mindset of getting stops every time down the court and we did that.”

Oklahoma City, which was coming off a home loss to the surging New York Knicks
on Sunday, was able to move its Northwest Division lead to 3 1/2 games ahead
of Denver by recording a third straight road win.

The Lakers defeated New Orleans on Tuesday, which puts the Jazz a half-game
behind Los Angeles for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. Utah has
just three games left on its schedule.

“We need make sure we come out Friday against Minnesota here and be ready to
do the things we need to do to win that game,” said Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin.
“They’re not going to lay down and let us have it. Only thing we can control
is what we do.”

Mo Williams scored 19 points, Gordon Hayward had 17 and Al Jefferson finished
with a 15-point, 11-rebound double-double for the Jazz, who had won seven of
eight coming in.

The Thunder led nearly the whole way, building a nine-point lead on a fadeaway
from Durant 8 1/2 minutes through the first.

The Jazz clawed within two, 26-24, after 5-0 spurt to start the second, but
then fell victim to a 13-4 Oklahoma City run, capped by five straight points
from Durant.

Utah entered halftime trailing, 45-35, but reduced its deficit to 68-61, thank
heading into the fourth quarter. Hayward scored 10 in the third.

Westbrook’s triple with 4:30 left in the game put OKC ahead by 12, and the
Jazz only came with 84-80 after the completion of a 10-2 run with 23 seconds
left.

Game Notes

The Jazz fell to 29-11 at home … Oklahoma City improved to 17-4 in games
following a loss … Derrick Favors had eight points and eight rebounds for
Utah.