OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma City Thunder have the best record in the National Basketball Association at 22-6 after their seventh consecutive victory at home Tuesday night.
The Thunder hadn’t played a game since Friday night, while Tuesday night's opponent, the Utah Jazz, were on the final of back-to-back-to-back road games. The end result was an easy guess.
The Thunder ran away for a 111-85 victory Tuesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Jazz missed on 15 of their first 16 shots as the Thunder got off to a 16-4 lead midway through the first quarter.
“It's the third night of a back-to-back-to-back,” Utah Coach Ty Corbin said. “Everybody's a little tired, and we just ran out of gas,. We just couldn't slow them down. We'll get ourselves back together, get some rest and we'll be fine.”
The Thunder played well early to establish their lead and never trailed throughout the game.
“I thought we came out and set the tone defensively in the first quarter,” Oklahoma City Coach Scott Brooks said. “We started the game defensive minded. Our guys played hard, and we made them take bad shots.”
The Thunder coasted in the second half. Oklahoma City beat Utah 101-87 Friday night in Salt Lake City, and then had three days off for the first time all season. It came at the end of a five-game road trip — and a stretch of eight of nine away from the friendly confines of Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Sixth Man of the Year Candidate James Harden led all scorers with 22 points on 6-for-9 shooting, while Kevin Durant had 21 points and six boards. Serge Ibaka was his usually dominant self in the paint area, scoring 16 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking six shots.
“Serge was all over the floor, rebounding the ball, blocking shots,” Brooks said. “He's getting better every game. His growth, his development is encouraging. Every day he works, and you can see the work that he puts in on the floor paying off for him.”
The Thunder are at home this Friday night against the Golden State Warriors.