Thunder Stories

Game 31 Preview: Thunder vs Jazz

Tonight at the Chesapeake Arena, the Oklahoma City Thunder will face for the third time this season the Utah Jazz.

The Thunder lost the first meeting against the Jazz, while they made sure to bounce back in the beginning of December when they won on their home court, 100-94.

Utah is struggling lately, they lost two consecutive games, they are 4-6 in the past ten games, and only 3-12 on the road. One of the main reasons for this tough stretch is that the Jazz don’t have much luck with injuries: Gobert will be out another month, Donovan will be out tonight with a toe injury, and Favors is a game-time decision.

On the other side, despite a dry offense, the Thunder are becoming alive and won seven of their past ten games.

Keys to the Game

Attack The Paint – This will be a fundamental aspect of the game. The Thunder must attack the paint because Utah is missing its rim protector (who’s also one of the best in the league). They should look for Steven Adams more (if he is clear to play). In a game like this, there is no need to set up for mid-range shots.

Convert from the Line – The Thunder are shooting 70.9% from the Free Throw line. They rank 29th in the league in this category. This stat is just absurd if we think about the load of talent this team has. It all starts with Russell Westbrook who’s shooting a mindblowing career-low 70%. Oklahoma City is shooting 22.3 free throws per game and, when you struggle to score, you really need to take care of any possibility you have.

Mental Approach – One of the main problems this season for the Thunder is the ability to stay focus for a whole game. The Jazz will miss a few important players, but the Thunder have to stick to their game-plan, not overthink, and try to take advantage of any Jazz’s issue.

Injury Report

Oklahoma City Thunder

  • Steven Adams – Concussion (Game time decision)

Utah Jazz

  • Rudy Gobert – Knee (Expected to be out until at least Jan 17th)
  • Dante Exum – Shoulder (Expected to be out until at least Mar 1st)
  • Raul Neto – Cuncussion (Expected to be out until at least Dec 21st)
  • Donovan Mitchell – Toe (Day by day)
  • Derrick Favors – Concussion (Game time decision)

Teams Stats

Oklahoma City Thunder

PPG 101.9 – OPP PTS 100.2
FG% 43.5 – 3PT% 34.8 – FT% 70.9
APG 20.7 – RPG 44.1 – TOV 14.9

Utah Jazz

PPG 102.9 – OPP PTS 100.8
FG% 45.6 – 3PT% 38.8 – FT% 80.6
APG 21.7 – RPG 40.4– TOV 14.6

Cover Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images

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