“He's going to score because he's a scorer,” Perkins said of Jefferson. “I just wanted to make sure he did not get to his jump hook and he stayed out the paint. Contest his jumpers outside the paint and I could live with that.'
Russell Westbrook scored 23 points with 13 rebounds, eight assists and seven steals, and Kevin Durant added 25 points. Kevin Martin scored 19 off the bench. Serge Ibaka added 12 points, seven rebounds and seven blocked shots.
Enes Kanter led the Jazz with 18 points off the bench, and Paul Millsap, Mo Williams and Gordon Hayward added 13 points apiece.
Utah was without starting forward Marvin Williams (concussion) and had to play the final 3 1/2 quarters without reserve Derrick Favors, who left the game with a foot injury. Still, the Jazz frontcourt controlled the glass, securing an opponent season-high 21 offensive rebounds. Utah was unable to convert most of those chances into scores, though, and finished tied with the Thunder with 16 second-chance points.
Turnovers, coupled with Utah's inability to convert putbacks, helped the Thunder cruise. The Jazz had 19 turnovers which led to 25 Thunder points. Twenty of those points came off 11 first-half turnovers, which allowed the Thunder to take a 12-point halftime lead.
Oklahoma City led by as many as 18 points, on two occasions late in the third quarter. But the Jazz got within five midway through the final period. The Thunder closed the game on an 18-11 run, forcing Utah into four turnovers in the final 7 1/2 minutes.