Utah Jazz report card: Jazz fall to Oklahoma City Thunder in nail-biting season opener
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
The Utah Jazz lost their season opener at EnergySolutions Arena 101-98 against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night. Every now and then, the Jazz showed glimpses of greatness in Salt Lake City as they scored in transition and dunked the ball every chance they had. Unfortunately for Jazz fans, the storm the Thunder brought was too strong for the young Jazz team, even on its home court.
The Jazz exchanged buckets with the Thunder during the first half but fell apart with 1:30 left in the first half, giving up several points, including a 3-pointer from Thabo Sefolosha at the buzzer to end the half.
The third quarter belonged to the Thunder and they picked apart the Jazz defense, exploiting every possible weakness. The Jazz didn’t help themselves as they got into foul trouble and seemingly forgot how to set their feet on defensive plays that could have been potential charges.
Despite their foul trouble and Gordon Hayward spending a lot of time on the bench, the Jazz fought back in the fourth quarter, led by Alec Burks. Burks contributed 24 points, six assists and several acrobatic and athletic plays.
Ultimately, the Jazz shot themselves in the foot by getting into early foul trouble, missing free throws (finishing 20-for-30) and turning the ball over 22 times during the game, including at pivotal moments.
Bobby Macey is a social media guru and marketing/PR specialist by day. By night, he's a writer for Deseretnews.com covering the Utah Jazz. Follow him on Twitter @Bobmacey and @utjazznation
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