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Hayward's 37 trumps Durant's big night as Jazz topple Thunder
Salt Lake City, UT (SportsNetwork.com) - Gordon Hayward scored a career-high 37 points and pulled down 11 boards as the Utah Jazz defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder, 112-101, Tuesday at EnergySolutions Arena.
Derrick Favors racked up 15 points and five rebounds, and Trey Burke recorded 10 points to go along with his six assists and six rebounds for the Jazz in their third win in the last four contests.
Kevin Durant tied an NBA season-high with 48 points to add to his seven boards, five assists and four steals, and Reggie Jackson added another 20 points, six assists, five rebounds and four steals for the Thunder in their fifth road loss of the season.
"We just have to regroup and be better next game," Durant said.
Durant drove and finished in between two defenders to prompt a three-point play, then intercepted a bad pass from Diante Garrett resulting in a transition slam to bring Oklahoma City's deficit down to 14, 88-74, with 53.8 seconds left in the third.
Durant and Jackson combined for six unanswered points to cut the Thunder's deficit to 10, 92-82, at 9:20 left in the game.
Nick Collison sunk an open corner-3 from a straight-line pass from Durant to bring the game within seven at 99-92, and two Durant free throws on the next trip kept Oklahoma City's hopes for a comeback high with 5:19 left.
Enter Hayward, who got away from Collison and dropped one in from outside to bring the Jazz lead to eight with 4:16 left in the last frame.
Following a pair of Durant foul shots, Hayward escaped the defense of Jeremy Lamb and sunk another trey to bring the score to 105-96, and then after an ill-advised Lamb shot selection, Hayward drained a step-back jumper in the eye of Derek Fisher to increase the lead to double digits at 107-96.
After Hayward's step-back dagger, the Thunder were not able to pull within single digits, and the Jazz coasted to their seventh home victory.
"I was in the zone a little bit. It is finally good to be there. It has been a rough season shooting for me," Hayward said.
The game opened up as a ping-pong match. Jackson caught fire and hit two open jump shots and a beauty from outside the arc to give the Thunder a 28-26 lead with only 46.9 seconds left in the first frame.
Enes Kanter sunk a jump shot and an earned pair of free throws to give the Jazz a 30-28 lead into the second quarter, and the Jazz did not lose it from that point forward.
The Jazz continued into the second frame on a 13-4 run capped off with a Brandon Rush bank shot. The two Western Conference teams traded blow for blow and Utah finished the first half up 59-47.
Richard Jefferson buried another from beyond the arc to bring the Jazz lead to 21 at 79-58 with 6:57 left in the third.
The Thunder's eight straight road victories entering the game was the longest for the franchise since 1/24/02-2/27/02 ... Starting power forward, Serge Ibaka, did not play for Oklahoma City due to flu-like symptoms ... The Jazz currently have the fourth worst record in the NBA, while the Thunder are tied for the second best record in the league.
01/08 01:44:45 ET
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