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Utah Jazz shows that the West is still the West

by Berry Tramel Modified: November 1, 2010 at 12:21 am •  Published: October 31, 2010

Here's how the Thunder ended the first quarter. In a tie game, with the shot clock almost expired, Williams faked Eric Maynor off his feet and jumped in for a foul. Williams' two foul shots with 9.9 seconds left gave Utah a 25-23 lead.

Then Durant got out of control trying to take the ball to the basket, and C.J. Miles' steal-and-layup gave the Jazz a four-point lead. Should have been no worse than a tie game, could have been a Thunder lead, and instead OKC was down four after one period.

Then the Thunder was outscored 6-0 in the final 35 seconds of the second quarter and trailed 56-40 at halftime.

Hey, you can't head to the bench or the locker room early against Western Conference cobras. They will grind your bones.

By the time the Thunder seemed to get serious, even frenetic, it was too late.

This was a Halloween nightmare all right.

* By the time Russell Westbrook took his fourth shot, the Thunder trailed 63-42. Hey, Russ. You're a star. Shoot the ball.

* James Harden, please wake up. Three games, 14 points, 3-of-16 shooting. If you're going to play that kind of offense, it's OK by me if Thabo Sefolosha plays 40 minutes a game.

* And Durant played a little wild again, committing six turnovers for the second time in three games, some of them out of the flow. Hey, KD, just settle down a little. The offense will come to you. Promise.

"It's a lesson learned," Durant said, and I hope he meant being ready for all these proud Western Conference foes who will not gently step aside for the NBA darlings.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at . He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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