SALT LAKE CITY — Russell Westbrook was at the end of the bench in a sport coat.
Serge Ibaka was in the locker room.
And the Thunder's defense was nowhere to be found.
Down two starters, the Thunder struggled to keep up with the worst team in the West and ultimately suffered a shocking and thorough 112-101 thumping against Utah on Tuesday night inside Energy Solutions Arena.
Kevin Durant tied his season high with 48 points to lead the Thunder. But without the team's second and third leading scorers by his side, he had little help. Reggie Jackson, with 20 points, was the only other Thunder player to score in double digits.
The Thunder shot 39.3 percent, just the fourth time this season OKC has been held under 40 percent shooting.
But on this night, offensive futility only compounded the biggest problem, which unquestionably was the Thunder's uncharacteristically porous defense.
Utah came out hot, making 10 of its first 13 shots, and never cooled off.
In the end, the Jazz connected on a season-high 58.8 percent of its shot attempts, becoming the first team this season to shoot at least 50 percent against the Thunder.
“They were able to pick us apart,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “They came out with better energy. They came out with more focus on the offensive end. And that surprises me because we've always been a team that takes every game as the most important game, and tonight that wasn't the case.”
With Ibaka missing his first game this season due to flu-like symptoms, the Thunder's defense collapsed.
No one took advantage more than Jazz forward Gordon Hayward, who enjoyed a career night with 37 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. He made 13 of 16 shots in 37 minutes and just carried the Jazz down the stretch.
Ibaka's absence prohibited the Thunder from offering any resistance for Hayward at the rim, and OKC surprisingly had no answer on the perimeter. Derek Fisher, Jeremy Lamb and Perry Jones III all got lengthy shots on Hayward in the fourth quarter. And all three whiffed.
Hayward scored 17 straight points for the Jazz in the final period, making seven of eight shots to single-handedly help Utah stave off a furious rally by the Thunder in the final seven minutes.
Noticeably absent from the Thunder's fourth-quarter lineup was guard Thabo Sefolosha. He suffered an undisclosed injury to a finger on his left hand early in the third quarter and did not play in the final frame. Though Sefolosha also struggled to defend Hayward early, Brooks opted for Fisher on Hayward early in the final period before giving Lamb the bulk of the duty and going with Jones on the fourth-year forward in the final three minutes.
“He made a few shots,” said Durant. “In the third quarter, he got whatever he wanted and his movement, he was cutting and getting everybody involved and that opened it up for him. In the fourth quarter, he made two huge 3s when we cut it to five. But that started from the first quarter.”
Utah put up 30 points in the opening period, splashing in 12 of 17 shots (70.6 percent). By halftime, the Jazz held a 59-47 lead.
Utah entered the game ranked last in first-half scoring, averaging just 44.6 points.
Things got worse before they got better.
Oklahoma City's deficit grew to be as large as 24 points in the third period and still stood at 16 entering the final period despite Durant's 15 points in the quarter.
The Thunder got within 99-94 on a pair of fouls shots by Durant with 4:51 to play. But Hayward lost Nick Collison on the right wing and splashed in a 3-pointer, and after another two free throws by Durant, Hayward shook Lamb with a gorgeous jab step that left him wide open to drain another 3, this time from the left wing.
He followed that with a jumper on Fisher.
It pushed the Jazz's lead back to 11 with 2:34 remaining.
“We didn't come out prepared,” said Jackson.