Combination Of Dismal Defense, Feeble Shooting Doom Utah Jazz In Loss To OKC Thunder

Aug 1, 2020, 4:47 PM | Updated: 10:41 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder 110-94 after a performance that featured poor shooting and inadequate defense by the Salt Lake City NBA franchise.

The Jazz played the Thunder on Saturday, August 1, at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. It was Utah’s second game of the NBA’s restart of the 2019-20 season.

Utah struggled from the jump ball but the combination of poor shooting, lack of defense, and great play by the Thunder ended up sealing a blowout loss for the Jazz.

Simply put, the game was over before it even got going.

1:29 into the contest, the Thunder took a 2-0 lead on a bucket by Danilo Gallinari and never looked back in their wire-to-wire win.

Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell made a two-foot shot with 8:15 remaining in the first quarter and that’s a close as Utah would get to OKC for the rest of the contest.

The Thunder held the Jazz to a season-low for points scored in any quarter after taking a 29-15 advantage after the first 12 minutes of play.

At one point later in the game, Utah found itself down 29 points.

Oklahoma City’s length on defense clearly impacted Utah’s shot selection and forced Jazzmen into taking bad looks. The Thunder blocked 8 shot attempts by Jazz players.

Utah’s key players weren’t a factor as the Thunder controlled things start to finish.

After it was all said and done, the Jazz ended up shooting 39.1 percent overall and 25.8 percent from downtown, which was better than the 33.3 percent from the field and 16.7 percent from distance executed in the opening quarter.

Quin Snyder’s starting lineup was a combined 4-15 from three-point range.

“Our offense really hurt our defense,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said after the loss. “There were plenty of defensive breakdowns as well.”

Mitchell finished with a Jazz-high 13 points on 5-15 field goals, including 0-4 from beyond the arc. He also committed a team-high four turnovers in the loss.

Jazz center Rudy Gobert scored 10 points and guard Mike Conley added 12 points.

Jordan Clarkson led Utah’s bench with 11 points but was 4-17 on field goals.

Oklahoma City had six players score in double figures led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s 19 points.

Thunder All-Star Chris Paul posted 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists in his team’s victory.

The Jazz struggled to limit the Thunder’s opportunities and OKC took advantage as they ended up shooting 53.2 percent from the field.

The 16-point loss was Utah’s first of the league’s restart at Disney World and the team’s first since March 9. It also moved the Thunder to within 0.5 games of the Jazz for the fourth spot in the West.

Next up for the Jazz is a meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, August 3 at 7:00 p.m. (MDT). The game will broadcast on ESPN, AT&T SportsNet, and 97.5 FM.

Currently, the Lakers are the top seed in the Western Conference playoff picture.

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