Thunder has brutal road test in Utah

By Mike Baldwin Modified: November 7, 2008 at 6:53 pm •  Published: November 7, 2008
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Posting a win at EnergySolutions Arena is about as difficult as holding LeBron James to single digits.

The Thunder plays tonight at Utah, which was 37-4 at home last season.

"Every time you play there it’s a tough game,” said Thunder forward Chris Wilcox. "We have to run hard in the first half. You need to get off to a good start and try to destroy the crowd early.”

Utah is 4-0 despite playing without All-Star point guard Deron Williams, sidelined by a sprained ankle.

"To me, Jerry Sloan is one of the best coaches to ever coach the game,” said Oklahoma City point guard Earl Watson. "Some people say you need talent. Others say you need that coach. I think the coach has a lot to do with the talent. As long as Jerry Sloan is coaching there, it will always be tough to win there.”

The only four teams to win in Salt Lake City last season were finalists Boston and the Lakers, Houston and Portland.

"They’re a really good team to begin with and are really good in that building,” said Oklahoma City coach P.J. Carlesimo.

"Maybe the altitude has a little something to do with it. The real issue is they really (are) good, period. They’re banged up right now, but when they’re healthy, they go nine or 10 deep with quality players.”


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Thunder at Jazz

→When: 8 tonight

→Where: EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City

→Records: Thunder 1-4, Utah 4-0

→TV: FSOK (Cox 29)

→Radio: WWLS-AM 640, FM 98.1

→Live game chat: blog.newsok.com/nbainokc

Probable starters

Thunder (1-3)
Pos. Player Ht. Pts. Reb. Ast.
G Earl Watson 6-1 6.3 5.0 5.3
G Kevin Durant 6-9 18.3 3.8 1.5
F Jeff Green 6-9 11.5 5.5 2.3
F Nick Collison 6-10 6.5 6.5 1.3
C Johan Petro 7-0 6.0 4.8 0.0
Jazz (4-0)
Pos. Player Ht. Pts. Reb. Ast.
G Ronnie Price 6-2 5.0 1.3 5.5
G Ronnie Brewer 6-7 12.3 3.3 1.3
F C.J. Miles 6-6 3.5 1.8 1.3
F Carlos Boozer 6-9 20.8 10.0 2.0
C Mehmet Okur 6-11 15.0 8.0 1.5

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