OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Utah’s Enes Kanter did it all against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night.
The 6-foot-11 center scored 27 points, made 12 of 17 shots and pulled down seven rebounds to help the Jazz defeat the Thunder 105-91 in preseason action. Kanter even made two 3-pointers — he’s only drained one in his three-season career.
“He came to play tonight,” Utah forward Gordon Hayward said. “He played extremely well tonight, and we need more nights like that.”
Trey Burke had 23 points, Alec Burks scored 15 and Derrick Favors had 12 points and 15 rebounds for the Jazz, who are 5-2 in the preseason under new coach Quin Snyder after finishing 25-57 last season.
Oklahoma City struggled in its final preseason game, despite Perry Jones scoring 20 points and Russell Westbrook adding 14 points and 11 assists. The Thunder will start the regular season next week without MVP Kevin Durant, who will miss at least the first month of the season with a Jones fracture in his right foot.
Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks wasn’t happy with the way his team played, especially since his likely starters played a significant number of minutes.
“We have some things that we have to tighten up on,” he said. “Defensively, we’ve got to get better within this next week before we start our first game.”
Kanter scored 16 points in the first half on 7-for-11 shooting to help the Jazz take a 58-50 lead. Before the break, Serge Ibaka had 12 points and Westbrook had 10 points and eight assists for the Thunder.
Utah pushed its lead to 66-52 in the early minutes of the third quarter with a 3-pointer for Kanter, and the Jazz led 85-69 at the end of the third quarter.
The Jazz shot just 40 percent from the field in the first three quarters, but outrebounded the Thunder 40-27. Utah remained in control throughout the fourth quarter.
The Thunder: Nick Collison played for the first time this preseason after sitting out with an ankle sprain. He scored eight points in 11 minutes. … G Reggie Jackson (wrist contusion), F Grant Jerrett (ankle), G Jeremy Lamb (heel contusion), F Mitch McGary (foot fracture) and C Kendrick Perkins (quad strain) all joined Durant on the sideline. … Steven Adams made just 3 of 9 shots from the field after shooting better than 50 percent in every previous preseason game.
The Jazz: Favors had 11 points and 11 rebounds at halftime. … The Jazz made 19 of 28 free throws in the first half while Oklahoma City made 3 of 6. … The Jazz outscored the Thunder 20-6 on fast breaks. … Rudy Gobert had three blocks in 21 minutes.
Oklahoma City made just 24 of 59 shots inside the 3-point line.
Utah rookie Rodney Hood missed all seven field-goal attempts, scored one point and committed five fouls during his 23:30 minutes on the court.
Oklahoma City plays at Portland on Oct. 29.
The Jazz host Phoenix on Friday.
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