Jazz use balanced attack to subdue ThunderMar 21, 2012 - 4:37 AM Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) - Paul Millsap scored 20 points to lead six Utah players in double figures as the Jazz held off the Oklahoma City Thunder, 97-90, at Energy Solutions Arena on Tuesday.
Al Jefferson tallied 16 points, Devin Harris added 15, and Gordon Hayward and Jamal Tinsley netted 11 points apiece for the Jazz. C.J. Miles finished with 10 points to help Utah complete its fourth straight victory.
"These guys have continued to work hard, stay together and depend on each other and support each other," said Utah head coach Tyrone Corbin. "We have had a few great wins as of late here. I am just really proud of the effort we are getting from both sides right now."
Russell Westbrook scored a game-high 23 points and Kevin Durant added 18 for the Thunder, who have now dropped two of their last three. James Harden poured in 17 points in the loss.
Trailing by eight, 85-77, in the fourth, Westbrook came to life with two three-pointers, and later added two from the free throw line in a 9-2 surge that cut the margin to just one, 87-86, with under three minutes to play.
However, the Jazz would score six of the next seven as Millsap hit a fadeaway jumper to give the home team a 93-87 edge with 1:19 to play.
The visitors were down just five, 95-90, with under thirty seconds to play, but Durant was off the mark on a three from the left wing and Miles sank two from the stripe at the other end to seal the victory for the home team.
"I just missed shots," admitted Durant, who finished the game 6-of-22 from the field. "I can't miss seven shots in the fourth quarter as one of the main guys. I can't do it. I just have to bounce back and stay positive and keep working."
The Thunder led 25-24 after the first quarter, and held a 38-32 edge with 6:56 to go in the second, but the visitors would not score another bucket from the field in the frame.
Miles and Millsap tallied six points each in Utah's 20-6 run that closed the first half with the home team leading 52-44.
Utah led 67-53 just over four minutes into the third stanza after 11 straight from Harris, but Serge Ibaka scored five straight in a 12-2 run for the Thunder that brought the margin to 69-66 with 3:35 to play in the third.
The frame ended with the Jazz clinging to a 76-70 edge.
Utah remains a half game out of the final playoff spot in the West, trailing Houston, which defeated the Lakers earlier on Tuesday...Oklahoma City will host the LA Clippers on Wednesday, while the Jazz travel to Sacramento on Thursday...Utah dominated the points in the paint, outscoring OKC 50-20.
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 90
Mar 20 11:24 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 70
End of 3rd
Mar 20 10:48 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 44
Mar 20 10:08 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 25
End of 1st
Mar 20 9:37 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Mar 20 9:11 PM
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