3 min read

Paul George leads the Charge, Thunder Top Jazz 122-113

Paul George leads the Charge, Thunder Top Jazz 122-113


The Oklahoma City Thunder (17-8) left little to chance on Monday night against the Utah Jazz (13-15), jumping on their division rivals early and maintaining a safe lead throughout — ultimately taking a 122-113 victory at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Paul George led the way with 31 points and four steals, shooting 8-of-10 from the floor and 5-of-6 from long range.

The Thunder shot 11-of-22 in the first quarter, establishing a 30-22 lead after one. OKC pushed its advantage to 57-46 by the halftime break, as George shot 4-of-5 in the first half en route to 14 points. Steven Adams pitched in 11 first half points of his own.

Coming in as the best third quarter team in the NBA, the Thunder did their thing immediately after halftime, shooting 14-of-26 in the third and scoring 42 points in the frame. George continued his offensive onslaught, hitting 4-of-5 from long distance and scoring 17 points in the third, as the Thunder build a commanding 29-point lead before ultimately taking a 99-75 advantage into the fourth.

Utah came showed signs of life in the final quarter, routinely getting into the paint and trimming the Thunder’s lead to nine with less than a minute to play. However, it was all too little, too late, as the Thunder were never really in danger — coming away with the nine-point victory.

George’s 31 points led OKC in scoring — followed by 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting off the bench for Dennis Schroder. Adams finished with 22 points and seven rebounds, Jerami Grant tacked on 13 points, and Russell Westbrook recorded his sixth triple-double of the season — 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists on a 4-of-18 shooting clip.





Paul George: 31 pts, 4 stl, 8/10 FG, 5/6 3P, 10/12 FT

Dennis Schroder: 23 pts, 6 ast, 2 stl, 9/17 FG, 1/6 3P

Russell Westbrook: 12 pts, 11 reb, 10 ast, 4/18 FG, 0/5 3P


The Paul George Show. PG13 had no trouble with the Jazz defense in this one, lighting up the scoreboard for 31 points on an efficient 80 percent shooting effort. His play in the third quarter (17 pts, 4/5 3P) helped the Thunder break the game open — establishing a lead large enough that he never needed to leave the bench for the entirety of the fourth.

Westbrook Struggles. Although he finished with yet another triple-double, this was another night to forget for the former MVP. Westbrook shot just 4-of-18 from the field and came up empty on all five of his attempts from long-distance. When he finally checked out of the game near the end of the fourth quarter, he was clearly frustrated — ripping off his shooting sleeves before slumping down in his seat. All good in a win but Westbrook is in desperate need of some consistent play. He absolutely has to clean up the three-point attempts, as well.

The Schrodie. Dennis Schroder stepped up with Westbrook struggling, scoring 23 points in 30 minutes — wrapping up his night as a +10 off the bench. He’s a luxury most nights — but was more of a necessity in this one. He looked good.

Big Steve & Jerami. Adams got the best of Rudy Gobert in their individual matchup, scoring 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting. Grant was solid with 13 points on a 6-of-11 clip.

The Other Guys. The Jazz had six men in double figures: Donovan Mitchell (19), Rudy Gobert (13), Jae Crowder (13), Derrick Favors (12), Ricky Rubio (10), and Ekpe Udoh (10). Utah shot 51 percent as a team, but went just 8-of-29 (27.6 percent) from long range and committed 20 turnovers.

Final Word. This was a good win against a division rival — and it was particularly encouraging to see it come comfortably despite Westbrook’s struggles. The Jazz aren’t who they were last year, but it’s an important win nonetheless. OKC moves to 17-8 on the season and improves their home record to 10-3. Back in action on Wednesday night in New Orleans.