NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, October 31st (All times eastern)
Utah Jazz (0-2) at Oklahoma City Thunder (2-0), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The winless Utah Jazz will take their show on the road this evening, as they pay a visit to the unbeaten Oklahoma City Thunder.
Utah lost its season opener at Denver on Wednesday and dropped a 110-94 decision versus Phoenix in Salt Lake City the following night. In Thursday's setback against the Suns, Al Jefferson had 20 points and nine rebounds, while both Andrei Kirilenko and Paul Millsap both ended with 19 points.
"They're good at pushing the ball up the floor, those things were difficult for us to handle -- they've always been kind of difficult for us to handle," Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan said of the Suns. "That's the way their team's designed. And if you don't take good shots against them, and you end up taking jump shots out on the perimeter and you don't make them, then they're off and running."
Millsap also grabbed 13 rebounds and Deron Williams provided 13 points and six assists for the Jazz, who haven't started 0-2 since the 2002-03 campaign. The Jazz haven't lost three in a row to begin a season since losing four straight to kick off the 1979-80 campaign.
The Thunder are off to a hot start at 2-0 thanks to wins over the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons.
In Friday's 105-104 victory over the Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills, Jeff Green put the Thunder ahead for good on a layup with 2.5 seconds to go in the game. Green's basket erased Charlie Villanueva's go-ahead three-pointer with just under eight seconds remaining. Green was looking for All-Star Kevin Durant, who scored 30 points, but he was covered.
"The play was meant for Kevin. He's our go-to guy in those situations," Green said. "When I saw that he wasn't open, I just tried to get into the lane and either get fouled or get the layup."
Green ended with 21 points and Russell Westbrook had 17 points and 11 assists for the Thunder, who have started 2-0 for the second straight year. Westbrook has two straight double-doubles to start the season, as he posted 28 points and 10 rebounds in the win versus Chicago on Wednesday.
Oklahoma City won three of four meetings with Utah last season, but the Jazz are 8-4 in the previous 12 matchups between the teams. Utah has dropped two straight and three of four as the guest in this series.
10/31 10:35:28 ET