OKC took control of the game with a 21-9 second quarter, an Oklahoma City era franchise record for the fewest points allowed in a period.
The Thunder forced the Jazz into missing 21 of their 24 shots in the second quarter, and Utah went into halftime staring at a 50-28 deficit. The Jazz were shooting just 22.7 percent at the break, barely above the franchise-low 20.8 percent Chicago shot on Feb. 24.
The Thunder went on a 21-4 run in the final 10 1/2 minutes of the second period. Over that stretch, Utah had twice as many turnovers (six) as made field goals in the entire period.
Behind airtight defense from Perkins, who pushed him away from the basket and contested every shot, Jefferson missed all five of his field goal attempts and was stuck on six points on 3-for-11 shooting at halftime. He finished with eight points and seven rebounds while going 4-for-13 from the field.
“We remember the butt-whooping that they gave us in Utah so we just wanted to come back and respond after that,” Perkins said. “Coach instigated it a lot these last two days about how bad they whooped us. We laughed about it, but at the same time Serge and myself, we're two guys that have a lot of pride. So I told him today let's go out here and do what we got to do. Don't worry about nothing else but making it hard on those two guys. I think we did a pretty good job.”