Russell Westbrook's 11th triple-double lifts Oklahoma City Thunder over Utah Jazz

By John Coon, The Sports Xchange  |  Dec. 24, 2017 at 12:06 AM
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SALT LAKE CITY -- Russell Westbrook totaled 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his 11th triple-double of the season to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 103-89 victory over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night.

Paul George added 26 points and Carmelo Anthony chipped in 16 points for the Thunder. Oklahoma City (18-15) beat Utah for the third straight time to win the season series 3-1.

Donovan Mitchell scored 29 points on 12-of-16 shooting after returning from a two-game absence. It wasn't enough to wake up a sleepwalking Jazz team.

Utah (15-19) committed 14 turnovers leading to 20 points for Oklahoma City. The Thunder also killed the Jazz on the offensive glass, pulling down 15 offensive rebounds and turning them into 16 second-chance points.

The Thunder did a good job of controlling the offensive glass and making the Jazz work overtime for each basket before halftime. Oklahoma City tallied six steals and forced 10 total turnovers in the first two quarters -- leading to a dozen points the other way.

Strong defense helped the Thunder take control from the start. They led by as many as nine points in the first quarter, taking a 17-8 lead on Anthony's pull-up jumper.

Utah chipped away at it during the second quarter and pulled to within 36-34 on a dunk from Derrick Favors. The Thunder answered by running off seven straight points to fuel a 9-2 run, going up 45-36 on a layup from George.

Thabo Sefolosha made a pair of baskets and hit a free throw to pull Utah within 54-52 early in the third quarter. Oklahoma City didn't let the Jazz get closer. George buried 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to give the Thunder their first double-digit lead at 65-55.

Patrick Patterson extended the lead to 81-66 when he made a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws on Oklahoma City's first two possessions of the fourth quarter.

NOTES: Thunder teammates F Paul George and PG Russell Westbrook rank first and second respectively in the NBA in steals per game. Coming into Saturday's game, George averaged 2.5 steals and Westbrook averaged 2.1 per contest. ... Jazz G Rodney Hood was held to zero points on 0-of-6 shooting in the first half and went 3-of-14 overall, scoring 11 points. Hood came into the game averaging 19.2 points in his previous six games. ... Oklahoma City has scored at least 20 points off turnovers against Utah three times in four games this season.

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