The Oklahoma City Thunder are undefeated at home this season and the Utah Jazz are winless on the road as the two teams meet up Sunday in Oklahoma City. The Thunder are 5-0 in their home venue after opening a six-game homestand with victories over the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers. The Jazz have the worst record in the NBA and are 0-8 on the road after losing 103-93 to the Dallas Mavericks on Friday.
Oklahoma City has won three consecutive games and dominated the interior in Thursday’s 105-91 win over the Clippers. The Thunder had a 58-32 edge in points in the paint and Kevin Durant added eight assists to go with 28 points. Utah’s lone victory of the season came against the New Orleans Pelicans on Nov. 13. The Jazz have since lost five straight games and trailed by as many as 28 points in the loss to the Mavericks.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ROOT (Utah), FSN Oklahoma (Oklahoma City)
ABOUT THE JAZZ (1-13): First-round pick Trey Burke may find himself elevated to the starting lineup after getting into the flow off the bench in his first two NBA games. The point guard missed the first 12 games due to a broken finger and scored 11 points in 12 minutes against the Pelicans in his debut before struggling to five points on 2-of-8 shooting against the Mavericks. Burke could receive quite a baptism if he indeed starts Sunday by going up against Oklahoma City star Russell Westbrook.
ABOUT THE THUNDER (8-3): Forward Serge Ibaka bounced back from a shaky performance to score 17 points against Los Angeles. Ibaka was 8-of-10 from the field three days after scoring a season-low six points against Denver. Ibaka has blocked 13 shots over the last four games and has been a surprisingly good offensive contributor this season as he is averaging 14.3 points and 10 rebounds through 11 games. He scored in double digits in seven of the last eight games.
1. Utah gave Oklahoma City a good battle in the season opener before succumbing 101-98 as Durant scored 42 points.
2. Jazz backup G Alec Burks scored a season-best 24 points in the loss to the Thunder.
3. Westbrook scored a season-low 12 against the Clippers and is 15-of-38 shooting over his last two games.
PREDICTION: Thunder 122, Jazz 89