9:00 pm
December 22

Thunder @ Jazz

Who will WIN this matchup?

Oklahoma City Thunder (20-10)

@ Utah Jazz (16-17)


Current odds:

Oklahoma City Thunder: (+110)

Utah Jazz: (-130)


• The line for this game is Jazz by 2 points.

• The Utah Jazz eliminated Oklahoma City in the first round of the playoffs last campaign, but defeating the Thunder has been tougher in the regular season. The Thunder, who visit the Jazz on Saturday, have won each of the last four in-season clashes and 11 of the last 13 – including a 122-113 home victory on Dec. 10. The Thunder have outscored their opponents by average of 16.7 points during a three-game winning streak that includes Wednesday’s 132-113 victory at Sacramento. Paul George scored 43 points against the Kings – his second-highest output of the campaign – and is 13-for-27 from 3-point range during the team’s winning streak.

• The Jazz, who have posted impressive back-to-back victories over Golden State and Portland, are hoping to ride the momentum after losing four of their previous five games. “We’re been turning the corner for a while now,” point guard Ricky Rubio said during a television interview after Friday’s 120-90 rout of host Portland. “We’ve been playing better. The results weren’t there, but I think we’ve been playing better the last month. We just pick it up from here and start winning.”

• Russell Westbrook recorded his 112th career triple-double with 19 points, 17 assists and 11 rebounds against the Kings but may have been the third-best player on his team behind Steven Adams and George. Adams grabbed a career-high 23 rebounds – including nine on the offensive glass – to help Oklahoma City compile a season-best 66 boards. “Steven was phenomenal on the glass,” coach Billy Donovan told reporters. “One of the things we wanted to do is play closer to the rim. I felt we needed to play closer to the basket.”

• Rubio recorded 21 second-half points as Utah outscored Portland 65-41 and finished with 24 on 10-of-15 shooting. His offense certainly was needed as Donovan Mitchell scored a season-low three points on 1-of-10 shooting against Portland and is just 22-for-79 over his last four contests. “He’s not going to shoot great at times, but there’s been plenty of games when he’s had a rough night,” coach Quin Snyder told reporters. “He’s capable of doing that for him, that’s what we want. If he doesn’t shoot, that’s Donovan being selfish.”

• George scored 31 points in the Thunder’s win over the Jazz earlier this month.

• Rubio hit all four of his 3-point attempts against the Trail Blazers after going 2-for-15 over his previous five games.

• Oklahoma City Gs Dennis Schroder and Raymond Felton will return after serving one-game suspensions for leaving the bench area when a minor skirmish broke out during Monday’s game against the Chicago Bulls.

StreakSmarter Pick
Oklahoma City Thunder