“I thought the fight we had defensively was nice,” Gordon Hayward said. “We just got to be able to execute more offensively, attack them a little more. I thought we played too passively there in the first half.”
Mo Williams led four Jazz starters in double figures with 19 points, while Al Jefferson recorded his 36th double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds. However, the Jazz committed 17 turnovers, which led to 16 Oklahoma City points.
Asked if the turnovers were due to the Thunder’s defense or were a product of sloppy play by the Jazz, Jefferson said, “They were turnovers, so it don’t matter. They were turnovers that we didn’t need.”
Oklahoma City’s combo of All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined to score 46 points. Power forward Serge Ibaka added 16, including 10 in the third quarter as the Jazz could never quite put together a run.
The Jazz got within four in the final minute, but like throughout the game, Oklahoma City had an answer.
“They got stops when they needed it,” Jefferson said, “and hit big shots when we were making our runs.”
The Jazz have two nights off before hosting Minnesota on Friday, enough time, they hope, for Marvin Williams to get over what ails him and for Burks to get back to full strength.
On what made for late-night TV in Utah, the Los Angeles Lakers overcame a second-half deficit to beat the New Orleans Hornets. DeMarre Carroll prepared to exit the Jazz locker room when that game was at halftime, with the Hornets up four. Carroll said he had no plans to watch the end.
“All we can handle is winning the last three games. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be, but we really got to take care of our business and we can’t really count on other people.”
Re the Jazz capable of winning their final three games?
“That might be what we have to do,” Hayward said.
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