Utah Jazz clamp down on heralded Oklahoma Thunder

By The Sports Xchange  |  Oct. 21, 2017 at 11:52 PM
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SALT LAKE CITY -- Joe Ingles scored 19 points and the shorthanded Utah Jazz used a dominating defensive performance to knock off the Oklahoma City Thunder 96-87 on Saturday night.

Ingles led a balanced offensive attack as five Jazz players scored in double figures. He finished with 19 points on 7-for-12 shooting from the floor, including 5-for-8 from beyond the arc. Rudy Gobert also had a big night for the Jazz with 16 points and 13 rebounds while Ricky Rubio added 16 points, six rebounds and five assists.

The Jazz controlled the inside as they held the Thunder to just 20 points in the paint in the early season Northwest Division matchup.

After the Thunder took an early 6-0 lead on outside jumpers from Carmelo Anthony, Paul George and Russell Westbrook, the Jazz found their defensive rhythm and held Oklahoma City to eight points the rest of the quarter to take a seven-point lead after one.

Rookie guard Donovan Mitchell and Ingles were key for the Jazz on the offensive end in the first. Mitchell had three early assists, including a pair of nifty inside looks that led to dunks, while Ingles knocked down two shots from 3-point range.

The Thunder tried to keep pace in the first half, but struggled with ball security as they managed just four assists against 10 turnovers. They also couldn't find the shooting touch from the outside as they missed all seven attempts from 3-point land in the first quarter and hit just 2 of 7 attempts in the second.

Oklahoma City caught fire from the outside early in the third with three straight 3-point shots to cut the deficit to 45-41 before the Jazz answered with a 15-8 run to push the lead back to double-figures.

The Thunder made one more big push early in a fourth quarter with a 12-3 run to cut the Jazz lead to seven, but couldn't get any closer as the Utah defense closed the door.

Anthony paced the Thunder with 26 points while George totaled 22 points, five rebounds and a game-best five steals. Westbrook finished the night with six points on 2-for-11 shooting from the floor but did have 13 rebounds and nine assists.

NOTES: The Thunder scored just 34 points in the first half besting their season low of 35 points in 2016-17. ... Thunder G Russell Westbrook had a big first half on the backboards with 10 rebounds. No other Oklahoma City player had more than three. ... Jazz SF Joe Ingles made five of his nine attempts from 3-point range pushing his season numbers to 12-for-18 from distance. ... After 58 double-doubles a season ago, Jazz C Rudy Gobert finished with his third in as many games.

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