The Utah Jazz (37-23) lost tonight to the Oklahoma City Thunder (35-25) by the very close margin of 109-106. Utah was down early and for most of the game but fought back to take the lead late in the game. They were even up by four with moments to play but Russell Westbrook exerted his will down the stretch and scored something like the last 16 points for his club. We’ve seen this story before, at least the ending of it because that’s what he did to Utah in Utah last month (January 23rd). The difference tonight was the hot shooting from one of the worst shooting teams out there. OKC hit 12 of their first 12 three point attempts, and finishing the game shooting 68.2% from downtown.
Also ridiculous is that the Jazz missed two wide open shots with seconds to play in a row, and then had another chance to tie the game up with 1.1 seconds and Gordon Hayward missed a deep attempt.
So what do we choose to focus on?
- Russell Westbrook, and his 43 / 11 / 10 game, leading his squad to another win against the Jazz
- The Thunder now going 2-1 up on the Jazz in the season series (one game left to play, another game in OKC)
- The Thunder winning once again after Utah is up with seconds to play
- The Jazz blowing away another late lead to a team that has only one good player
- OKC shooting 68% from deep — a sign of bad defense, or a lucky night?
- More evidence of Rodney Hood being streaky (being bad most of the game, then hitting shots in the fourth)
- A bad brain fart by Joe Johnson who should have gone for the layup?
- A bad brain fart by Quin Synder to call the time out with the ball in Joe Johnsons’ hands?
- The fact that all said and done, the team went 2-1 on a road trip they could have gone 0-3 on if it wasn’t for their play
- The fact that the team is 6-3 in their all of their most recent road games after that tough East Trip in January? (winning 2 of 3 is good)
February ends with a loss, but it was a good month. The team is healthy, and I don’t think we need to worry too much about this one. After all, the Jazz play two more games this week, tomorrow hosting the Minnesota Timberwolves, and on Friday they host the Brooklyn Nets.
No time to dwell on this one. There’s work to do still.