NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, March 30th
(All times Eastern)
Utah Jazz (23-50) at Oklahoma City Thunder (53-19), 3 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Oklahoma City Thunder have clinched a playoff berth,
so now it's about trying to secure the Northwest Division title and catching
the San Antonio Spurs for Western Conference supremacy.
They'll take a step forward on both fronts with a home win over the Utah Jazz
Oklahoma City is seven games clear of the Portland Trail Blazers for the lead
in the Northwest Division, but trails the Spurs by 3 1/2 games out west.
On Friday, Kevin Durant scored 29 points in 29 minutes and the Thunder led by
as many as 32 in a wire-to-wire 94-81 win over the Sacramento Kings.
Durant scored at least 25 points for the 37th straight game and the Thunder
bounced back from Tuesday's overtime loss to Dallas to win for the fifth time
in six games.
They have beaten the Kings nine straight times overall, 11 in a row at home
and in 18 of the last 20 meetings.
Russell Westbrook added 18 points in 24 minutes and Jeremy Lamb scored 13 off
the bench for Oklahoma City.
"Our setups were good," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "We were moving the
ball and looking for each other and we had some good plays."
The Jazz have been bad lately with three straight losses and 14 in their last
On Friday, Utah fell, 102-95, to the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King
Center. That started a two-game road trip which concludes Sunday afternoon in
Gordon Hayward had 21 points, while Derrick Favors scored 18 points and
grabbed 11 boards for the Jazz. Trey Burke and Marvin Williams both netted 12
in the loss.
"We can always be better," Utah head coach Tyrone Corbin said. "We made some
mistakes and that happens, but these guys are fighting and they are giving it
what they have."
The Jazz allowed the Pelicans to shoot 50.7 percent from the field and
committed 19 turnovers, which yielded 33 New Orleans points.
The Thunder have won two of three this season against their Northwest Division
rivals. OKC has taken four of the last five meetings versus Utah and five
straight as the host in this series.
03/30 10:11:20 ET