Thunder (27-7, 12-4 road) vs. Jazz (11-25, 6-10 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 109.2 (5th), Jazz – 101.3 (24th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 100.8 (3rd), Jazz – 109.7 (30th)
Pace: Thunder – 96.5 (5th), Jazz – 91.3 (27th)
The Thunder have played the Jazz twice already this season without Russell Westbrook. One was a massacre in Oklahoma City, the other was the first game of the season, a disgusting close win in Utah.
Fun fact: The Thunder have won eight straight on the road, with the last loss coming in Portland on Dec. 4. They’ve had some favorable matchups, like they do tonight, but that’s the whole idea: You take care of the teams you should. The Jazz aren’t very good, but they do have a few wins at home. And without Westbrook, as we know, nothing is a given.
Utah coming in: Lost to the Lakers on Friday
Three Big Things
1. Trey Burke vs. Reggie. Basically the way the Jazz are dangerous is this: Trey Burke plays really well. In the 24 games Burke has played, in the 10 wins he’s averaging 17.2 points on 44.4 percent shooting. In losses, he’s at 10.6 points on 35.8 percent. While the Thunder need Jackson to score and play well again, they really need him to just slow down Burke.
2. Ball security. The Thunder took call of the ball against the Celtics, turning it over just nine times. The way they get themselves into trouble right now is bulk giveaways. It’s as simple as that.
3. KD. He sets the tone for this team right now, whether it’s scoring or setting up. The Jazz don’t have anyone ideal to defend KD, with basically Richard Jefferson, Gordon Hayward and others it. Durant could have a big night for the Thunder, which right now, is kind of necessary.
Tip at 8:00 CT. Go Ball.