Final - OT
  for this game

Durant, Westbrook rally Thunder past Jazz 104-98 in OT

Dec 14, 2015 - 4:41 AM OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) After the lowest-scoring half of his career and the lowest-scoring half of Oklahoma City's season, Kevin Durant and the Thunder made a collective decision at halftime Sunday night to play more aggressively.

Durant and running mate Russell Westbrook provided much of the fuel as the Thunder rallied from a 16-point deficit to beat Utah 104-98 in overtime, the Thunder's second win over the Jazz in a three-day span.

Durant scored 31 points - all but two after halftime - and Westbrook added 25 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for the Thunder, who have won nine straight home games against Utah dating to the 2010-11 season. Oklahoma City extended its longest winning streak of the season to five games, but not before a mid-game shift.

''I was getting a little frustrated with myself and I just had to calm down,'' Durant said about his first-half struggles. ''At halftime, I just told myself to calm down and go get the ball and try to score. It's as simple as that - try to score and then that's what opened it up for my teammates.''

Rodney Hood had 23 points, Gordon Hayward scored 22 and Alec Burks added 21 for the Jazz, who fell five games behind first-place Oklahoma City in the Northwest Division.

Westbrook scored two baskets in the first 36 seconds of overtime to give the Thunder the lead, and Utah missed its first nine field-goal attempts in the extra period. The Jazz avoided an OT shutout on Hayward's basket with 8.6 seconds left.

''It hurts,'' Utah coach Quin Snyder said. ''We were really, really good and we got really tired. It really came down, if we could have gotten a couple of defensive rebounds at the end of the game. We were clearly fatigued in overtime. We'd been able to attack most of the game and just ran out of steam.''

The Jazz controlled the first half, building a lead that peaked at 51-35 on a 3-pointer by Hood in the final minute. Oklahoma City rallied in the final seconds, with Westbrook throwing an inbounds pass off Hood's back, grabbing the carom and hitting a 15-foot jumper at the buzzer to make it 51-38.

Westbrook and Durant combined to score Oklahoma City's first 20 points of the second half. Durant fed Steven Adams for a layup that gave the Thunder a 61-58 lead 5 minutes into the third quarter. The Jazz answered and led 76-71 entering the fourth.

Oklahoma City stayed close, though, and tied it at 94 on a 3 by Serge Ibaka with 49.8 seconds left. Hayward hit a 15-foot jumper off the ensuing inbounds play to put Utah back ahead with 45.9 seconds left. Durant blew by Utah's Derrick Favors for a tying dunk with 14.6 seconds left.

Eschewing a timeout, Utah brought the ball down court, but Heyward's pass for Hood sailed out of bounds with a second left. Durant missed a shot from the corner at the buzzer, forcing overtime.

''We didn't start out so well,'' Durant said, ''but that's why there's two halves of basketball.''

Dion Waiters added 13 points for Oklahoma City. Favors had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Utah.


Jazz: Burks started at point guard in place of Raul Neto, who had started every previous game this season. Neto never got into the game. ... After facing the Thunder three times in their first 22 games, the Jazz will have only one more matchup against Oklahoma City during their final 60 games, on March 24 in Oklahoma. ... Snyder said he isn't overly concerned about the Jazz's recent first-quarter struggles. ''It's good that we don't have four quarters that are problem quarters,'' he said.

Thunder: Official Ed Malloy called Westbrook for a technical foul in the second quarter after Westbrook protested a call. It was Westbrook's fourth technical this season. ... Nick Collison was called for a flagrant foul in the third quarter against Hood. ... A fan, Shane McKinzie of Stillwater, hit a half-court shot during a third-quarter promotion sponsored by MidFirst Bank to win $20,000. ... The Thunder have held their opponent under 100 points for six straight games. ... Oklahoma City won't play the same opponent in consecutive games the rest of the season. ... The Thunder wore their alternate orange uniforms.


Durant struggled in the first half, scoring two points on 1-of-2 shooting, but quickly heated up in the second half.

He swished a 17-footer 14 seconds into the third quarter, then made two free throws at the 11:07 mark, followed by a pair of 3s. He eventually scored 17 points in the quarter, as the Thunder built a five-point lead before falling behind again 76-71.

Snyder said it was obvious the Thunder made a decision at halftime to get Durant the ball.

''That's who he is,'' Snyder said. ''He responds. It wasn't so much what we did, but what he did. Tip your hat to him.''


Jazz: At Sacramento on Monday.

Thunder: Host Portland on Wednesday.