Oklahoma City • Ty Corbin wanted to measure his team against the best.
So after the Jazz’s 88-82 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Utah’s fourth preseason defeat in a row, what was the assessment from Corbin’s players?
“We still got work to do,” forward Derrick Favors said. “I think we did good, but we still got a lot of work to do.”
As the Jazz took the court against the Thunder on Sunday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena, it was a showcase of teams in very different places. One is built to win now, the other hopes to get there eventually. The Thunder are talked about as title contenders. The Jazz are mentioned more often when talk turns to the NBA lottery.
“We’re growing to that and they’re there,” Corbin said.
From the time Kevin Durant opened the game with a turnaround jump shot until the final whistle, the Thunder never trailed. The Jazz tied the game at 12 midway through the first, but Oklahoma City went on a 15-2 run over the rest of the first and part of the second.
The Jazz, meanwhile, struggled to make baskets, shooting just 38.2 percent from the floor.
“We’ve got to knock down shots,” said forward Gordon Hayward. “We’re not shooting the ball very well, hesitating on open looks. We just have to take what they give us. If you’re open shoot. If not, then make a play or pass.”
Hayward led the way for Utah, finishing with 18 points on 6-of-14 shooting. Center Enes Kanter and guard Alec Burks also finished in double-digits for the Jazz, with 18 and 10 points respectively.
Utah was cold from the beginning. The Jazz found space on the pick-and-roll but missed open looks.
“That’s what I’m talking about,” Hayward said. “It’s tough when you get the same look three times in a row and you just miss them, because it makes you second guess yourself on that fourth.”
Durant scored 5 points in the first half, and spent the second cheering his teammates on from the bench.Next Page »