Utah Jazz basketball: Thunder embarrass lackluster Utah Jazz in 110-87 blowout loss
"We got embarrassed and have to be able to compete in these games," Hayward said in a somber Jazz postgame locker room. "Coming down to three or four weeks left in the season, trying to get into the playoffs, we can't come out with efforts like this.
"They out-toughed us. They forced us way out on the perimeter on our sets. Our bigs caught it way up to the elbow and we couldn't get into our offense, and that's why we couldn't get good looks. There were countless times where we were stuck with four seconds left with the ball and had to make a play way out on the perimeter, and that can't happen."
Durant, the league's leading scorer, finished with a game-high 23 points and 10 rebounds — he also had eight turnovers — while point guard Russell Westbrook added 19 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Kevin Martin contributed 15 points, Reggie Jackson had 12 and Derek Fisher and Serge Ibaka chipped in with 10 apiece as the Thunder (48-17) shot nearly 54 percent from the floor, almost 44 percent from 3-point range and 88 percent from the foul line.
Oklahoma City, which bounced back from a disappointing loss at San Antonio two nights earlier, also outrebounded the Jazz by a 48-35 margin in avenging a 15-point loss to the Jazz last month in Utah.
"Of course, it is important after a loss to try and bounce back," Durant said. "This team beat us pretty badly in Utah, so we wanted to come out here and send a message, and we did that.
"We were physical with them. It was a physical game between both teams. … We forced them out (of the paint) and I can count on one hand how many times they got easy points in the paint. That's where our defense is."
It certainly was on this night and, consequently, like that courtside sign said, "Jazz is dead."
Utah fans are just hoping that's not a precursor for their ill-fated postseason aspirations, too.
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