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Utah Jazz lose Favors, game in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) shoots between Utah Jazz forwards Paul Millsap (24) and DeMarre Carroll (3) in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) releases a shot over Utah Jazz guard Mo Williams (5) in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka talks with official Eli Roe (44) after a foul call in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz in Oklahoma City, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. Oklahoma City won 106-94. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Utah Jazz forward Paul Millsap shoots in front of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka (9) during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. Oklahoma City won 106-94. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) grabs a rebound in front of Utah Jazz guard Earl Watson (11) i the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. Oklahoma City won 106-94. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Utah Jazz center Enes Kanter (0) shoots in front of Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins (5), guard Kevin Martin (23) and guard Russell Westbrook (0) during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. Oklahoma City won 106-94. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins, left, shoots in front of Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson, right, in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. Oklahoma City won 106-94. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka (9) shoots in front of Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson and guard Jamaal Tinsley, right, in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. Oklahoma City won 106-94. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Utah Jazz forward Paul Millsap (24) shoots over Oklahoma City Thunder center Hasheem Thabeet, right, in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. Oklahoma City won 106-94. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Utah Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin shouts to his team in the fouth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Oklahoma City, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. Oklahoma City won 106-94. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Utah Jazz guard Alec Burks (10) and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Kevin Martin (23) go up for a rebound in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. Oklahoma City won 106-94. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Oklahoma City • It was a statement more about the condition of these Utah Jazz than a single performance.

Al Jefferson sat at his locker in the visitors’ locker room, spun an earring into his left lobe, and said, “I don’t feel bad at all about this loss.”

There was a time a loss to a division rival, the defending conference champions, would have infuriated the Jazz (9-8), and particularly one of their key leaders. But Jefferson’s candor did as much to illustrate the chasm between the Jazz and the top teams in the Western Conference as what had just transpired on the court.

Minutes earlier on Friday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder (13-4) beat the battered Jazz 106-94 in front of a sellout crowd at Chesapeake Energy Arena in a game that — aside from a brief, thrilling Jazz run late in the game — was as thorough a trouncing as the Jazz have experienced all season.

“I think we did a great job against all odds,” Jefferson said. “Kept playing, never gave up.”

With Marvin Williams out with concussion symptoms and Derrick Favors pulled after nine minutes with the arch of his right foot strained, the Jazz, behind a curious collection of players, cut a once-18-point Thunder lead to 88-83 with 7:41 remaining, before the Thunder once again surged. Enes Kanter scored 13 of his team-high 18 points in the fourth quarter to make things interesting for the Jazz.

Story continues below

One road game remains, Saturday at Houston, before the most brutal stretch of the schedule concludes, but the Jazz wrapped up November a very pedestrian 9-8 through 17 games.

While Jefferson remained optimistic, other Jazz players took the losses harder, including Kanter, who said he was unconcerned with his scoring total.

“We just lost the game,” he said, “and that’s what I’m really sad for.”

Said Paul Millsap: “This one hurts. We played hard. We did a lot of good things out there. Talent-wise they’ve got two players that took over the game in the fourth quarter.”

Kevin Durant led all scorers with 25 points, but it was Russell Westbrook who stole the show. Westbrook wasn’t far away from becoming the fifth player in NBA history to record a quadruple-double, recording 23 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists and seven steals.

So, when the Jazz, led by Kanter, threatened in the fourth quarter, it was Westbrook who took over. He recorded back-to-back steals, including one with 7:08 remaining that led to an uncontested dunk for Durant, putting Oklahoma City up 92-83.

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Jazz lose yet another key player to injury as Oklahoma City runs its offense with ease.

At a glance

Storylines

IN SHORT » Enes Kanter scores a season-high 18 points, but the Jazz can’t keep up with the defending Western Conference champions.

KEY MOMENT » Derrick Favors leaves the game in the second quarter with a strained arch in his right foot.

KEY STAT » Russell Westbrook leads Oklahoma City with 23 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists and seven steals.

Jazz at Rockets

At the Toyota Center (Houston)

Tipoff » Saturday, 6 p.m.

TV » ROOT Sports

Radio » 1280 AM, 97.5 FM

Season series » Jazz 1-0

About the Jazz » After Friday’s 106-94 loss at Oklahoma City, the Jazz are 3-9 on the road. ... In his first game back from injury, Mo Williams scored 13 points on 4-of-10 shooting against the Thunder. ... Forward Marvin Williams (concussion symptoms) is doubtful while Derrick Favors (strained right arch) is questionable.

About the Rockets » Former Thunder sixth man James Harden leads the Rockets with 24.5 points per game. ... The Rockets lost at Utah 102-91 on Nov. 19, but have won three of four since. ... Five of Houston’s seven wins have come at home.


 
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