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Thunder ends Utah's five-game winning streak

by Darnell Mayberry Modified: November 16, 2010 at 1:11 am •  Published: November 16, 2010
/articleid/3514978/1/pictures/1250648">Photo - Utah forward C.J. Miles, left, guards Thunder forward Kevin Durant during Monday's game. AP PHOTO
Utah forward C.J. Miles, left, guards Thunder forward Kevin Durant during Monday's game. AP PHOTO
Aside from the game's first six minutes, when the Jazz built a 12-point lead, the Thunder played with passion and purpose throughout. When the Jazz came out on fire, Thunder players began talking and encouraging each other to get stops and congratulating each other on made shots. The team's competitive side had re-emerged.

And everyone played a role.

After returning from a three-game absence Sunday because of a sprained left ankle, forward Jeff Green missed Monday's game after aggravating the injury against San Antonio. In his absence, Serge Ibaka once again proved to be more than an adequate replacement, scoring a career-high 22 points on 9 of 13 shooting. The second-year forward torched the Jazz with several timely mid-range jumpers and was a force around the rim, gobbling up a game-high 11 rebounds to go with his four blocked shots.

“Tonight's game was as well as I've ever seen him play,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “He just played with great effort, and defensively he was always around the basket.”

When Russell Westbrook had to sit early in the second quarter after picking up his third foul, it was third-string point guard Royal Ivey who provided impact minutes. Ivey's most critical play came when he defended hot-hand C.J. Miles late in the game and made the Jazz swingman fumble the ball in the corner to foil a 3-point attempt.

And the Thunder again closed it out at the foul line, hitting 33 of 34 from the line.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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