SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Dennis Schroder scored 24 points, Russell Westbrook added 23 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Utah Jazz 98-89 on Monday night to sweep the season series.
Westbrook appeared to argue with fans of the Jazz, who knocked the Thunder out of the postseason last year.
Paul George chipped in 14 points and 11 rebounds. Steven Adams and Jerami Grant added 12 points apiece.
Donovan Mitchell scored 25 points for Utah, which shot just 36 percent from the field. Royce O’Neale added 17 points while Rudy Gobert had 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Starting with second-chance baskets from Adams and Grant, the Thunder scored field goals on five straight possessions to take a 22-14 lead late in the first quarter. O’Neale and Crowder finally stemmed the run with back-to-back 3-pointers.
Utah cut the deficit to a point twice before halftime. The second time, the Jazz ran off eight straight points, culminating in a 3-pointer from Thabo Sefolosha, to trim the Thunder lead to 30-29. Utah couldn’t get closer before halftime.
Oklahoma City ran off 10 unanswered points and took its first double-digit lead at 40-29 on a pair of free throws from Westbrook with 3:42 remaining in the half. Adams also made a pair of hook shots to help fuel the spurt.
Utah trimmed the Thunder lead to 60-55 late in the third quarter when Mitchell scored a finger roll layup. Oklahoma City pulled away a second time and took its largest lead at 80-63 on a 3-pointer from Abdel Nader early in the fourth quarter.
The Jazz rallied one more time in the fourth, cutting the deficit to 89-83 on a pair of 3-pointers from O’Neale. Westbrook took over and scored back-to-back baskets as part of a 9-1 run that put the Thunder up 98-84 with 1:32 remaining.
Thunder: In his three previous games against the Jazz this season, George averaged 39.7 points on 60.6 percent shooting, 8.7 rebounds, and 5.3 assists. Oklahoma City finished with a 15-8 edge in fast-break points.
Jazz: Dante Exum returned to action after missing 25 games with a left ankle sprain and bone bruise. Exum was scoreless with three assists in 15 minutes. The Jazz scored 23 points off 16 Thunder turnovers.
Thunder: Host Brooklyn on Wednesday.
Jazz: Visit Phoenix on Wednesday.