Thunder (39-12, 16-9 road) at Jazz (28-24, 19-6 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 112.7 (1st), Jazz– 106.5 (9th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 102.6 (8th), Jazz – 107.3 (22nd)
Pace: Thunder – 93.4 (8th), Jazz – 91.2 (19th)
View from the enemy: Salt City Hoops
It’s not easy to blow one team out, much less four straight. I wouldn’t expect the current trend of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant sitting in the fourth to continue on tonight, as the Thunder take on a solid Jazz team that’s very good in their own building.
The Jazz don’t lose at home much, but the Thunder are actually one of the few teams that have had past success against them in Salt Lake. Outside of the Tony Brothers Fiasco, the Thunder have won three of their last four in Utah. Not a typical feat.
Utah coming in: Lost at Sacramento on Saturday.
Three Big Things
1. Inside. Obviously the major matchup is the interior battle between Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap versus Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins. Perk played Jefferson wonderfully in the first meeting, holding him to just 7-18 shooting, with most of those attempts coming outside of the paint.
2. Short hands. The Thunder get back Kevin Martin tonight, but the Jazz will be missing Gordon Hayward and Mo Williams, meaning Utah will have a lot of trouble handling matchups against OKC. Hayward can’t really defend Durant as it is, but he was probably their best option. Now, they’re really screwed.
3. Roll on. The Thunder have major momentum working for them, but with a big game against Miami and then the break to look forward to, focusing on this one could be a challenge. They’ve been stomping people as of late, but just because you did it to one team doesn’t mean you’ll do it to another.
Tip at 8:00 CT. Go Rolling.