National Basketball Association
Oklahoma City at Utah
When: 9:00 PM ET, Saturday, March 28, 2015
Where: EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah
The Oklahoma City Thunder added injury to insult Friday but are still looking good in their quest for a postseason spot. The Thunder will try to move on without the prospect of a return from Kevin Durant when they visit the Utah Jazz on Saturday. Oklahoma City learned that Durant would need additional surgery on his ailing foot and miss the rest of the season on Friday, two days after an embarrassing 130-91 loss at San Antonio.
Durant’s loss doesn’t come as a huge surprise for the Thunder, who have been without the reigning MVP since late February, but the club had been holding out hope that he could return for the playoffs as recently as this week. "With the focus of this process being aimed entirely on Kevin's long-term health and stability, it was the consensus of the specialists team, in addition to a collective decision by Kevin, his representation and the Thunder, that to address the setback of the fracture site, a bone graft procedure would be the most proactive and recommended approach," Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti said in a statement. The Jazz will take any break they can get after suffering a fourth straight loss Friday.TV:
9 p.m. ET, FSN Oklahoma (Oklahoma City), ROOT (Utah)ABOUT THE THUNDER (41-31):
Oklahoma City sits in eighth place in the Western Conference, three games clear of the New Orleans Hornets, due mostly to the efforts of Russell Westbrook. The star point guard put up seven straight double-doubles and a pair of triple-doubles before being held to 16 points, seven assists and four rebounds in Wednesday’s loss. Kyle Singler has gotten most of the starts in Durant’s place but has yet to score in double figures since joining the team, and the Thunder likely will be without forward Serge Ibaka (knee surgery) until playoff time as well.
ABOUT THE JAZZ (31-41):
Utah put together a string of 14 wins in 18 games based mainly on a tenacious defense that regularly held opponents under 90 points. The Jazz have fallen off on that end of late and have allowed three of the last four opponents to reach 100 points after holding 12 in a row to 91 or fewer. Utah allowed the Denver Nuggets to shoot 51.3 percent from the field, including 13-of-24 from 3-point range, in a 107-91 setback Friday.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Former Jazz and current Thunder C Enes Kanter has posted seven straight double-doubles and will be making his first trip to Utah since being traded at the deadline.
2. Jazz G Rodney Hood (illness) has missed the last two games and remains day-to-day.
3. Oklahoma City took the first two meetings this season but has not won at Utah since Oct. 30, 2013.PREDICTION:
Thunder 101, Jazz 88
Stats and Records