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 Sunday afternoon.
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 16 games.
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 Oklahoma City.
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