NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, January 7th (All times Eastern)
Oklahoma City Thunder (27-7) at Utah Jazz (11-25), 9 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder have played hot on the road of late and will begin a short trip Tuesday against the Northwest Division-rival Utah Jazz.
The Thunder will visit division-foe Denver on this trek and have won eight in a row away from the OKC. They are back on the road following Sunday's 119-96 home victory versus the Boston Celtics and were led by Reggie Jackson's career-high 27 points on 9-of-12 shooting.
"I thought Reggie started the game off, his stroke was right on target, then Kevin (Durant) came on a little bit, and Kendrick (Perkins) and Serge (Ibaka) took over late," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks.
Durant, the NBA's leading scorer at 29.0 points per game, posted 21 points and Ibaka chipped in 17 and 11 rebounds for Oklahoma City, which has won five of its last seven games overall and shot 51.8 percent for the game. The Thunder used a 21-7 run to highlight a 66-point first half (66-56) and scored 20 points off of Boston's 16 turnovers.
The Thunder, who own a 12-4 away record and are still without guard Russell Westbrook (knee surgery), haven't won nine in a row on the road since the team was located in Seattle during a 10-game burst from Jan. 3 - Feb. 5, 1995.
Utah is coming off Friday's 110-99 road setback to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Jazz trailed 30-12 after the first quarter and were able to battle back over the final three quarters, but had a two-game winning streak stopped.
The Jazz were led by Gordon Hayward's 22 points and both Enes Kanter and Richard Jefferson scored 16 points in defeat. Kanter also grabbed 10 rebounds, while Marvin Williams, Derrick Favors and Jeremy Evans had 11 points apiece.
"We had opportunities. We fought back. We can't afford to fall that far behind, especially on the road. We didn't get out to the start we thought we would," said Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin.
Utah was playing on the road in the second night of a back-to-back and trimmed a 21-point deficit to four in the last minutes of the game.
Also scheduled to visit Salt Lake City will be Cleveland and Denver. The Jazz are unbeaten in the last three at home and have a 6-10 mark as the host.
Oklahoma City has beaten Utah twice this season and is 10-2 in the last 12 matchups between the teams.
The Thunder are third in the NBA in scoring at 106.0 points per game and the Jazz are posting 93.0 ppg.
01/07 10:41:32 ET