SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The Utah Jazz have had some blowout losses this season, but this one may have been the worst of them all.
Dennis Schroder scored 27 points off the bench and the Oklahoma City Thunder built a 21-point lead and cruised past the Utah Jazz, 104-90, on Monday night.
The Thunder were coming off a back-to-back having just beat Portland on Sunday, and were without leading scorer Danilo Gallinari, but made 47 percent of their shots from the field.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 20 points and Chris Paul added 16 points and seven assists for the Thunder. Steven Adams chipped in with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 26 points, but made just 10 of 26 shots from the field, as Utah has now lost six of its last eight games.
“I mean, honestly, we’ve been saying the same thing for a week and a half,” Mitchell said. We’ve just got to have a tougher mindset. When we can, get back in transition and find ways to communicate. When we don’t hit shots we can’t let it affect our defense.”
The Jazz played its third straight game without starting point guard Mike Conley, who missed his third straight game with a sore hamstring.
“Our decision making, collectively, that’s where we need to come together and help each other on the offensive end,” said head coach Kyle Whittingham. “Because against a team that’s pressuring you the way they were, that puts a lot of pressure on the guards to make plays.”
Oklahoma City got a big lift from its bench and outscored the Utah reserves 45-23. The Thunder shot 47% from the field.
Rudy Gobert added 19 points and 17 rebounds, while Bojan Bogdanovic made just 4 of 17 shots and finished with 13 points.
Utah and Oklahoma City traded big runs in the first half.
The Jazz surged ahead 24-19 late in the first quarter on the strength of a 13-2 run. Gobert highlighted the spurt with back-to-back baskets — part of the 14 points he scored before halftime.
The Thunder answered with a 18-5 run that extended into the second quarter. Schroder got things going with a pair of baskets before the first quarter ended. Paul capped it off with back-to-back baskets, giving Oklahoma City a 37-29 lead.
Oklahoma City stayed in front for the remainder of the game. The Thunder opened their first double-digit lead in the third quarter, going up 85-65 behind a 19-4 run. Schroder did most of the damage during the outburst, scoring four total baskets. His driving layup ignited the run and his third 3-pointer of the game finished it.
Utah next plays at Minnesota Wednesday night.