Jazz rout Thunder 137-101 for 5th straight home win

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Bojan Bogdanovic scored 27 points, Rudy Gobert added 20 points and 10 rebounds and the Utah Jazz beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 137-101 on Wednesday night.

Jordan Clarkson had a season-high 18 points and 10 assists, and Hassan Whiteside added 15 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks to help the Jazz win their fifth straight home game.

Utah shot 59% from the field and outrebounded the Thunder 64-38.

Whiteside said giving up a 21-point lead in a loss to Golden State on Saturday lit a fire under the Jazz that created positive momentum in the team’s last two games.

“It was unfortunate that we had to lose that game like that, but I think it will help us in the long run,” Whiteside said. “It made us more connected as a team. It showed our flaws.”

Jaylen Hoard scored 23 points for Oklahoma City. Isaiah Roby and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl each added 18 points.

With nine players sidelined due to a series of injuries, the Thunder struggled to keep up with Utah once the Jazz found their shot.

“You have to have smart attacks against this team because that’s what they do to you,” Oklahoma City coach Mark Daigneault said. “They limit your options and then if you’re a little rushed with their bigs then it can be a really long night on the offensive end. That’s why they are a good defense.”

Utah took the lead late in the first quarter on a layup by Bogdanovic that sparked a 16-2 run. The Jazz scored baskets on nine consecutive possessions capped by back-to-back dunks and a basket by Gobert.

Oklahoma City cut the deficit to two points in the second quarter, with Lindy Waters III hitting three straight 3-pointers to fuel a 13-2 run. Hoard cut to the rim for a layup to cap the run and cut Utah’s lead to 57-55.

Oklahoma City Thunder Melvin Frazier (6) watches as Jordan Clarkson (00) shoots during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 6, 2022, in Salt Lake City.

Clarkson responded with back-to-back baskets to prevent Oklahoma City from getting past the Jazz. He also set up Gobert’s baskets on back-to-back possessions to help Utah take a 71-58 halftime lead.

Utah kept the Thunder in check by attacking the rim early and often. The Jazz outscored Oklahoma City 60-36 in the paint.

“When the ball moves and defenses change, you have an opportunity to attack the shutdowns,” Utah coach Quin Snyder said. “Those quick decisions put you in the hoop. That’s what I saw as far as us moving the defense.”

The Jazz led by double figures for virtually the entire second half.

After the Thunder cut the deficit to nine on a Robinson-Earl 3-pointer, Utah used a 27-5 run to build a 118-87 lead early in the fourth quarter.

“That’s a very high-level elite team with a lot of experienced guys and they were really able to pull it off in the second half,” Robinson-Earl said.

INS COUNCIL

Thunder: Robinson-Earl set a career high in scoring after not playing in Oklahoma City’s 98-94 win over Portland the night before. … Zavier Simpson had 11 assists in his second NBA game.

Jazz: Donovan Mitchell (rest), Mike Conley (right knee injury maintenance) and Royce O’Neale (right thumb soreness) were inactive. … Utah scored a season-high 41 points in the first quarter. … Jared Butler had eight assists in the second half en route to a career-high 10 for him.

INJURED AGAIN

Trent Forrest started for the Jazz after missing three games with a concussion. His return to the field did not last long.

Forrest sprained his left foot and went out with 1:39 remaining in the second quarter, not returning in the second half. Butler started in his place after halftime. Forrest finished with four points and two assists in 12 minutes.

“It’s been tough on him,” Snyder said of the recent spate of injuries. “He was playing very well tonight. He is unique in some of the things that he can do.”

FREE THROW FRENZY

One night after attempting a season-high 43 free throw attempts against Memphis, the Jazz followed up with 32 free throw attempts against Oklahoma City. It was the first time since December that Utah had attempted 30 or more free throws in consecutive contests.

UNTIL NEXT TIME

Thunder: At the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.

Jazz: Host Phoenix on Friday night.

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