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What They're Saying About The Thunder & Jazz

Just a link dump from last night's game.

Thunder survives bad start, beats Utah |
After securing a hard-fought 115-108 victory over the Jazz, however, the Thunder showed there is at least one characteristic from last year’s lovable 50-win team that has indeed spilled over into this season of inconsistency. Pride.

Thunder 115, Jazz 108 | Thunder Rumblings
Serge Ibaka was a force tonight. He started in place of Jeff Green, who aggravated his sprained left ankle Sunday against San Antonio, and again made the most of his opportunity. If Ibaka’s jumper starts to fall like it was against the Jazz, and the Thunder begins to play any kind of defense, I don’t know how a team hangs with these guys. And what made Ibaka’s night so impressive is that he hit shots at critical moments, when Utah was making a run or the momentum was in danger of swinging heavily back to the Jazz. Ibaka also hit the glass hard, with a game-high 11 rebounds to go with four blocks.

Jazz notes: Rough flight rattles the Thunder | The Salt Lake Tribune
Oklahoma City’s charter flight into Salt Lake City late Sunday night was bumpy enough to get the players’ attention. "Scariest flight I’ve ever been on," Thunder guard James Harden tweeted. In another tweet, center Serge Ibaka said, "Thank God for a safe flight." Before Oklahoma City’s game against the Jazz on Monday night, former Jazz point guard Eric Maynor confirmed Mother Nature had dribbled the Thunder into Utah. "It got bumpy toward the end," Maynor said. "A little shaky."

Thunder end Utah's five-game winning streak - NBA - Wire -
Utah pulled within 109-106 on Williams' driving layup with 57 seconds left, and had a chance to get within one after Durant's miss. But Andrei Kirilenko missed a layup and Durant was fouled after grabbing the rebound. He made six straight free throws to seal the victory. Overall, the Thunder made 33 of 34 free throws, compared to 18 of 22 by the Jazz. "It happens," Williams said when asked to explain the big differential at the line. The game was physical from the start, with Utah's Kyrylo Fesenko needing four stitches in his chin in the first half and Earl Watson requiring three stitches to close a cut on his lower lip.

Thunder - Jazz Quotes | The Salt Lake Tribune
Kevin Durant - "We let that go a couple weeks ago. We were just trying to get better tonight. They started off very hot and I think we did a good job of bouncing back and that’s the type of team we are. We’re a resilient team. We were like that all last year and some this year a little bit as well in spurts, but tonight we put a good game together, got some stops when we needed and got some scores."

Life in the NBA: Jazz drop a key game, then move on | Ahead of the Game
Jazz veteran Raja Bell, who did not play on Monday because of a strained groin, said winning on the road – especially during a long road trip – can help the team bonding process. "I always feel like you really don’t know each other in a season until you get on that first long road trip together," he said. "Quite frankly, at home you don’t spend a lot of time together. Everybody’s got their families and you’re doing your down thing. "When you get on the road you’re forced over five or six days to really be each other’s family and lean on each other."

Ball Don't Lie - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
Serge Ibaka needs to start. Clowntime is over, Scott Brooks, because this guy (22 points on 13 shots, four blocks, 11 rebounds, and zero turnovers) changes the game for your team. Utah wasn't exactly chopped liver in its first loss in six tries. Deron Williams(notes) came through with 31 and 11 assists of his own, but AK had a few iffy plays offensively down the stretch, Al Jefferson(notes) missed some shots (5-14 from the field) that he usually makes, and the Thunder just earned those 15 extra free throw makes (33-34 from the stripe for Oklahoma City, hard to top a team that pulls that off.

Thunder ends Utah's five-game winning streak |
It was arguably the Thunder's most complete game. Aside from the game's first six minutes, when the Jazz built a 12-point lead, the Thunder played with passion and purpose throughout. When the Jazz came out on fire, Thunder players began talking and encouraging each other to get stops and congratulating each other on made shots. The team's competitive side had re-emerged. And everyone played a role.

Thunderous third quarter hurts Jazz | The Salt Lake Tribune
For the game, Kevin Durant and company lit up EnergySolutions Arena with uncommon shooting. But the third quarter was the key: 15-for-21 from the field; three field goals from beyond the arc; a two-point lead stretched to eight; and one Utah Jazz team on the brink of seeing its five-game winning streak abruptly halted.