Observations, news and notes from Friday night’s game…….
* Deron Williams, much like Derrick Rose Wednesday night, stole the show and the game from the Thunder.
* Apparently D-Will took offense at the Thunder attacking him….”The young guys tried to come at me in the first quarter a little bit,” Williams said. “I was just trying to get everyone involved and I thought we were doing a good job of executing. There wasn’t a need for me to force anything and get eight turnovers…Mehmet (Okur) went down in the first half so I just thought that I better get it going a little bit.”
* Williams did have some good things to say about OKC: “This is a tough team. The coach is doing a great job over there. This time of year young teams are playing great. They are playing like playoff teams. They are dangerous and have some young superstars over there. They are going to be really good in a couple of years.”
* Brooks had to switch Thabo Sefolosha onto Williams halfway through the second quarter. It didn’t help. In fact, it got worse.
* Sefolosha finished with one steal tonight, the eighth straight game that he’s finished with at least one steal.
* Okur, if you don’t know, got poked in the eye by Chucky Atkins and left the game with 7:41 left in the second quarter. Jazz officials said he was seeing double in the locker room.
* That’s about the only thing Chucky did right tonight — zero points on 0-for-4 shooting, all of them coming from downtown. He had three assists, two rebounds and two fouls in 18 minutes. How many of you are dying to get Earl Watson back on the court now?
* I actually think Atkins is just slow to find his shooting rhythm. He hasn’t played for most of this season. I think it’ll come.
* Russell Westbrook was forcing the action a lot tonight. I lost track of how many times he jacked up the first shot after bringing the ball up the court and not even making a single pass.
* Kevin Durant said he still hasn’t gotten his stroke back after missing seven games with a sprained right ankle. He went 10-for-23 tonight and 3 of 10 in the first half.
* For the first time, Durant got the And 1 on the sweep through move he’s been working on all season. It came from the right corner with 45 seconds remaining in the first quarter with Ronnie Brewer defending him.
* Paul Millsap’s 14 points and seven boards off the bench were big for Utah.
* OKC’s 25 assists were a welcomed sight. The Thunder had 13 in three of the past four games.
* The 19 turnovers, including 10 in the second quarter that helped Utah outscore OKC 26-16 in the period, were costly.
* Jeff Green looks to be getting his stroke back slowly. He went 6 of 16 from the floor tonight but 3 of 6 from downtown.