SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Rodney Hood scored 25 points and the Utah Jazz defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 109-89 on Wednesday night to break a tie atop the Northwest Division between the teams.
Utah led from start to finish behind 58.3 percent shooting and showed why it’s one of the best defensive teams in the NBA, holding the Thunder to 36.6 percent from the field.
Gordon Hayward scored 17 for the Jazz, who have won nine of 11. Rudy Gobert added 12 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks.
Russell Westbrook paced the Thunder with 27 points, six rebounds and five assists. He shot 7 for 25 from the floor.
Enes Kanter scored 19 for Oklahoma City against his former team.
The Jazz took a 55-41 lead into halftime thanks to a 15-6 run in the second quarter. Hood sank a pair of 3-pointers to highlight the stretch.
The Thunder shot just 32.5 percent in the first half and had little offense outside of Westbrook’s 14 points on 3-for-11 shooting.
Thunder: Victor Oladipo missed his second consecutive game with a right wrist sprain. Jerami Grant started in place of Oladipo for the second straight night. The Thunder had the same starting lineup for the first 24 games of the season.
Jazz: George Hill missed his sixth straight game with a sprained left big toe, but is no longer in a walking boot. … Utah is 15-2 when leading at halftime.
A LITTLE REST
The Jazz played their first game in four days after a stretch of eight games in 13 days. The injury-ravaged roster got Derrick Favors (knee) back after a 13-game absence, and Hood (hamstring) returned after missing three games. Utah coach Quin Snyder said the injuries didn’t allow the team to practice much, but the Jazz tried to be smart and efficient in the things they could do. They also tried to get some rest and get healthy.
”There’s always a fine line between, you want to rejuvenate and recharge, but then you also don’t want to lose timing and things like that,” Snyder said.
Thunder: Oklahoma City hosts Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns on Saturday.
Jazz: Utah hosts a Mavericks team Friday that has lost 11 of 12 games on the road.