Oklahoma City Thunder: OKC cranks up the defense, cruises past Utah Jazz

Kevin Durant scored 19 points and Serge Ibaka had 17 points and 11 rebounds to help Oklahoma City extend its best season-opening start at home with a 95-73 win over the struggling Utah Jazz on Sunday night.
by Anthony Slater Published: November 24, 2013

And on this night, no matter who coach Scott Brooks threw out there, that wasn't happening.

Durant went for 19 points and nine rebounds in 26 minutes, Ibaka chipped in 17 and 11 for his fifth double-double and the Thunder's starting lineup had a combined plus/minus of plus-132.

But the bench was equally impressive.

OKC's second-unit outscored the Jazz starters 36-29. Thunder reserves Perry Jones (13 points, 3-of-3 from three) and Jeremy Lamb (15 points, 7-of-13 from the field) both scored more than any Utah player.

“It's great,” Sefolosha said of the team's complete performance. “We trust them, we believe in them and they believe in themselves.”

 But things get a bit trickier for Oklahoma City over the next week. With the win, OKC improved to 9-3 on the season.

But the final half of this currently undefeated six-game homestand gives the Thunder a shot at the league-best 12-1 Spurs, followed by matchups with the Warriors and Timberwolves, a pair of teams who have already beat OKC this season.

“The added rest obviously helps,” Brooks said. “The next couple of days, get a couple good practices and then we have some very good teams coming into our building.”

by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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