NBA Game Preview - Thunder v Jazz

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Oklahoma City 25 26 34 19 104
Utah 24 23 21 22 90
6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)03:0021:00 ET8:00 PM CT0:00 , December 9, 2019
Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah  Attendance: 18,306

Jazz look to get back on track vs. visiting Thunder

According to STATS
According to STATS

Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz

  1. The Jazz defeated the Thunder 100-95 in their season opener, ending a seven-game skid in the series. Utah limited OKC to 12 first-quarter points, the Thunder's fewest in the opening period since scoring 10 against the Spurs on April 7, 2015.
  2. Donovan Mitchell has been held to fewer than 20 points twice in four games this month after having three such games in his first 19 contests. Since the start of last season, Mitchell is averaging 18.9 points on 39.0 percent shooting in December and 25.1 points and 44.2 percent shooting in all other months.
  3. Utah was 19-of-34 from three-point range in Saturday's 126-112 home win over Memphis, and is shooting 46.6 percent from beyond the arc in its last four in Salt Lake City. The Jazz have made 14+ three-pointers in four straight home games, and have never had 14+ threes in five in a row at home.
  4. The Thunder won 108-96 at Portland on Sunday for their fourth win in five games. OKC limited the Trail Blazers to six points in transition, and its 11.9 opponents' fast-break points per game average ranks fifth in the NBA. The Thunder are 6-3 when opponents score fewer than 10 points in transition.
  5. Dennis Schroder, who scored 21 points Sunday, is averaging 26.0 points on 64.4 percent shooting in the second half of back-to-backs this season, and 14.7 points on 42.1 percent shooting in all other games.
  6. Chris Paul has gone three straight games without a turnover, and his three giveaways in his last six contests are his fewest ever in a six-game span in his 15-year career. In 11 games since November 15, Paul's 7.56 assist-to-turnover ratio is the best in the NBA among the 80 players with 35+ assists.

The Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder will each be missing key starters when they meet Monday night in Salt Lake City at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

For the Jazz, veteran point guard Mike Conley is expected to miss his third consecutive game with hamstring tightness. The Thunder are missing small forward Terrance Ferguson, who is expected to miss his second consecutive game with hip soreness.

Utah has dropped five of its last seven games, but won its most recent contest, 126-112 over the Memphis Grizzlies. Oklahoma City is coming off a 108-96 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, the Thunder's second straight win.

With Conley out against the Grizzlies, forward Joe Ingles served as the team's main offensive playmaker, scoring 12 points and dishing out 10 assists. Emmanuel Mudiay also saw more action as a result of Conley's absence, scoring 11 points to go with his seven assists in 22 minutes.

Utah had lost three straight games prior to the Memphis victory.

"It felt good to get back on a winning track. The way we played today was the way we're supposed to play," forward Jeff Green told the Salt Lake Tribune. "We just had to look ourselves in the mirror and figure it out as individuals, how to better the team by doing your job."

A big part of Utah's slump-breaking performance was their 3-point shooting. The Jazz made 19 of 34 shots from beyond the arc against Memphis, good for a 55.9 percent clip, their best of the season thus far. Prior to Saturday, Utah had not made more than 50 percent of their 3-point attempts this season.

For the Thunder, Abdel Nader started in Ferguson's place Sunday night in Portland, scoring seven points in 19 minutes of action.

"I think they're really trying to get some time where that can quiet down," coach Billy Donovan said regarding Ferguson's injury. "And I think what they don't want to do is put him in a position where potentially he re-aggravates his hip and it sets him back even further."

Oklahoma City's scoring has been very balanced recently. On Sunday night, the Thunder had three players with 20 or more points and none with more than 21. That came a game after a franchise-high five players scored at least 20 in a win over Minnesota.

Veteran point guard Chris Paul has been on a tear in the last two games, scoring a combined 50 points. Prior to that, he'd scored in single digits in two of the previous three games.

This is the second meeting between the two teams, who opened the 2019-20 season against one another. The Jazz won that one 100-95. Oklahoma City held an eight-point lead early in the fourth quarter, but the Jazz scored 32 points in the fourth to come back and win.

Donovan Mitchell scored 32 points and 12 rebounds that night, becoming the first Utah player since Carlos Boozer to have at least 30 points and 10 rebounds in a season opener.

--Field Level Media

Updated December 9, 2019

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