Official postgame quotes and notes following the Jazz's 121-105 home defeat to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday.
Notes: The Jazz had their second-highest scoring first quarter of the season (37)...The team had 41 vs. Toronto on 11/3/10...The Jazz average 23.2 points in the first quarter this season, but have averaged 32.3 vs. Oklahoma City through three games...The Jazz is the first team in the NBA to start a game shooting 11-11 from the field since Detroit did it against Milwaukee on 2/19/10 (also 11-11 FG) ... Last time the Jazz went 11-11 from the field was on 3/11/98 vs. Sacramento (12-12) ... The Jazz bench was outscored 33-16 ... The Jazz is just 8-14 this season when allowing 100+ points to its opponent ... Tonight Paul Millsap had his fourth 30+ point game of the season (last was 1/28 vs. Minnesota) ... Millsap’s 34 points (15-20 FG) is the most points Paul has had in 43 games (46 points at Miami, 11/9) ... The Thunder shot a Jazz opponent season-high 62 percent (13-21) from the three-point range (was 56 percent by Atlanta on 1/5) ... The Jazz falls to 2-17 when having fewer assists than its opponent (30-27 Oklahoma City tonight) ... The Jazz is 29-5 when having more assists than their opponent.
Jerry Sloan – Head Coach (30-22 this season)
On the game
"We’re playing a game and trying to hang in there. It looked like we should be down 30 points. We were down seven or eight points and we still couldn’t make stops. We went through everything that we do on the defensive end of the floor as far as pick and roll stuff to try and play them. We weren’t able to handle any of it. They killed us with that because once they got loose, they penetrated and kicked the ball out to guys who shot the ball. They did a terrific job of shooting the basketball."
On Oklahoma City being the elite team in the Northwest Division
"Yeah, they have a terrific team. I thought they were a terrific team last year. They played the Lakers in a tough series. Young guys that just getting better and better. They know what they’re doing they know how to play with each other and they are really a terrific team."
Paul Millsap – Forward (34 points, 10 rebounds)
On Oklahoma City’s inside game creating outside shots
"They would hit a few shots outside with a hand in their face. So that’s tough. You play good defense and they hit a shot anyways. It’s kind of tough."
On the game
"I feel like the energy level was there to start the game off. After playing a back-to-back game, the energy level was there. We started the game off pretty good. Just coming down the stretch we didn’t get our legs up under us like we wanted too. They had more energy coming down the stretch then us."
Deron Williams – Guard (14 points, 11 assists)
On the game
"It was a tough loss. We came out with a lot of energy, and it looked like we were going to take control of the game early. Got up 13 points, and then in that second quarter, they kind of sucked the life out of us. We weren’t able to regain it after that."
On defending the pick and roll
"We tried everything. I didn’t do a good job. As a team we didn’t do a good job, and as a team they just picked us apart."
On Russell Westbrook
"He’s typically not a three-point shooter, but 4-4 tonight. You have to give him credit; he has definitely worked on it. Russell is a special player. He outplayed me tonight ... what can I say."
Gordon Hayward – Forward (6 points, 2 assists)
On Kevin Durant
"He’s got two or three inches on almost everyone that’s guarding him so he’s able to kind of push you off, jab you and then still rise up for a shot. He’s also deceptively quicker than he looks. He’s got a good quick first step. I just tried to hang in there and challenge every shot and disrupt what he liked to do."
On the Jazz defense
"They were killing us on the pick and roll which I think is something we’ve been struggling with all season. It’s not just in this game. I think it was put on blast this game a little bit. It’s something that we obviously need to work on. I think we were trying, trying to do things. We tried a lot of different ways of stopping the pick and roll. I think communicating might help us a little more."
Notes: The Thunder are now 6-4 their last 10 games against the Jazz and 5-5 their last 10 in Salt Lake City ... The Thunder are also now 63 in their second night of a back to back ... Oklahoma City started the second quarter on a 9-0 run; hitting 3-3 from behind the three-point line, and closed the first half on a 11-1 run in the last 2:55 minutes (first lead of the game at 1:23 in the second quarter) ... The Thunder finished the second quarter outscoring the Jazz 35-20 ...Russell Westbrook, who scored 13 of his 33 points in the third quarter, ended the game with 33 points and 10 assists, for his 25th double-double of the season...Kevin Durant had his eighth double-double of the season with 21 points and 12 rebounds...The Thunder are now 4-2 on the season when having six players score 10+ points.
Scott Brooks – Head Coach (33-17 this season)
On the Jazz quick start
"’Oh no, we’re in trouble.’ They were making every shot. We were helping them make a lot of those shots. We weren’t defending anybody and we clamped down in the second quarter. I thought our bench did a great job. Came in and ensured that we did think about defense and ball movement. I thought that was a big part of the game because we had nothing going for us on either end of the floor, and our bench did a great job. Eric Maynor and James Harden came in and made plays for us."
On the bench production
"We talk about it all the time. I know Russell and Kevin are our two All-Stars but we are developing a good team here. Everybody has to chip in and do their job. We’d like him (Kevin Durant) to have good games every night, but we have a good team. Guys stepped up. I thought Eric Maynor and James Harden did a great job of stepping up when we needed them to get some stops and some scores in that second quarter. But I thought our bench won the game tonight."
Russell Westbrook– Guard (33 Points, 10 Assists)
On the game
"I think as a team we started the game off slow for some apparent reason and we logged in as a team, got stops and finished the game out."
On the importance of this game
"Every game is an important game for us, even more important in your division. I think we came out, we started a little slow, but we stuck together defensively and won out the game."
On the bench production
"Other guys got to be ready to step up. I think our bench did a good job by helping us out in the second quarter and keeping us in the game. We’re very confident. We have one of the best in the league. They come in and they’re ready to play. They got a lot of confidence as a team they come in and be ready defensively.
Kevin Durant – Forward (21 Points, 12 Rebounds)
On the importance of game
"Most definitely, it’s a division game we know how important it is. This team is very tough at home. We always fight, have battles with them every game we play them. It was a fun game, we started off terrible. But our second unit sparked us in that second quarter and was able to give us energy. We fought hard and got stops and got a good win."
On the three-point shooting tonight
"Russell was phenomenal from the three-point line. He was unconscious. Something we don’t get to see too much from him because he doesn’t shoot them. He made some, Jeff did, I was able to hit one or two, James, so you know we’ve been working on it and finally we got some to go."
— Brian T. Smith
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