By Darnell Mayberry •
Modified: November 25, 2009 at 11:25 am •
Published: November 25, 2009
/articleid/3420213/1/pictures/772209"> The Thunder’s Russell Westbrook, left, has the ball knocked away by Utah’s Deron Williams. AP photo
"He just stays with it. Deron is an All-Star player in my mind and he did a good job on him.”
Williams finished with season-high-tying seven of Utah’s 24 turnovers, resulting in 25 Thunder points as Oklahoma City used a team-oriented effort to make the Jazz pay on the other end.
The Thunder recorded 25 assists, led by Durant’s team-high eight to go along with his game-high 28 points. On almost every offensive possession, the Thunder had four and five passes before attempting a shot. Every starter had at least three assists, a clear sign that players were paying attention to Brooks’ message during an hour-long film session that focused on ball movement Monday.
"I thought throughout the game we just did a good job of passing the ball, sharing the ball, believing in each other and having some trust,” Brooks said.
The renewed selflessness led to 48.7 percent shooting from the field and 8-for-18 shooting from behind the 3-point line one game after the Thunder missed 20 of 23 from downtown against the Los Angeles Lakers.
"We all wanted to bounce back from that last game,” said James Harden. "That wasn’t us. So we just wanted to go out there and compete, help each other out and really get after it on the defensive end.”