During pregame, here's what Thunder coach Scott Brooks said of the opposing team's point guard: "He does so many great things. We have to do a great job of containing him in transition. He can make shots at the rim. It's going to take a team effort to stop him."
Brooks happened to be talking about Utah's Deron Williams, but he just as easily could have been discussing any of the point guards the Thunder faces at home for three straight Sundays. Next Sunday, it's Boston's Rajon Rondo. The Sunday after that, it's San Antonio's Tony Parker. And remember, the Thunder faced Chicago's Derrick Rose in its home opener last Wednesday.
"Every night you play in this league, you play against somebody good," Thunder backup point guard Eric Maynor said. "You can't take nights off. You take a night off, that's when you know you're going to have a bad night and you end up losing."
Sunday was one of those nights as Williams finished with 16 points, 15 assists and six rebounds in the Jazz's 120-99 win over Oklahoma City.
Before the game, Utah coach Jerry Sloan expressed frustration at his team's lack of energy in the first two games.
From the outset of the game, however, it was the Thunder that was lacking enthusiasm.
"We didn't really have any energy," Thunder forward Kevin Durant said. "They jumped right on us, man. We waited too long to fight back. It's a lesson learned."
Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook added: "We just weren't playing tough enough. We couldn't get a step, and they were executing their plays very well. We just have to keep working at it."
Thunder rookie center Cole Aldrich got to celebrate his 22nd birthday by playing in his first NBA game. It took just 28 seconds for his first rebound and his first basket, both of which came on a thunderous, one-handed dunk off a James Harden miss, drawing a standing ovation for the No. 11 pick out of Kansas.
Twenty seconds later, Aldrich collected his first career steal. He played 11 minutes and had five points.
THEY SAID IT
"Great player. Great person. Seems like he's got full command of everything that goes around basketball. He has a wonderful demeanor and is just a terrific player. I don't know how you guard the guy." &mdash Sloan on Durant
Durant finished with 28 points, ending his streak of nine straight 30-point games dating back to last season.... Harden is now 3 of 16 from the floor and 1 for 8 from 3-point range this season.... After going 8-0 in the preseason, Utah came in 0-2.... The Jazz was shooting 23.1 percent from 3-point range but converted 63.6 percent (7 of 11) against the Thunder.... The Jazz outscored the Thunder 18-8 on second-chance points.