TV: League Pass
- Jazz point guard Mo Williams practiced yesterday and at shootaround this morning saying he will, “for sure,” play against the Thunder. Williams has missed the last three games with a foot sprain. Head coach Ty Corbin told reporters just before the game that Williams is in the starting lineup tonight. The news isn’t as good for Utah forward Marvin Williams. He’s still suffering concussion symptoms after falling and hitting his head on the court in New Orleans Wednesday night. Williams is with the team in Oklahoma City but will not play tonight, “he’s getting better,” Corbin said, “but he still has a headache.” DeMarre Carroll will start in his place. “DeMarre likes the challenge of guarding one of the best guys in the league,” Corbin said. Carroll will start the game defending Kevin Durant who is averaging 26.6 ppg, second in the NBA.
- The Thunder have no injury issues and head coach Scott Brooks will again start the same five players he has in every game so far this season. OKC is the only team in the NBA that’s been able to do that.
- Neither coach had much to say about fellow coach Gregg Popovich and his decision to rest four players and the resulting fine handed down by the NBA. “Pop coaches his team and does what he thinks is best, who am I to judge what they do? We hope to be as good as they are some day,” Corbin told reporters. Brooks when asked if he’d be tempted at some point to do the same thing said, “I haven’t even thought about it, but we do what’s best for our team. Whatever gives us the best chance to win.”
- The Thunder come into the game as the highest scoring team in the NBA (105.4 ppg), second in field goal percentage (48.3) and third in 3-point percentage (41.6). The Thunder are outscoring their opponents by an average of 9.0 points per game (largest differential in the NBA) and they beat their last two opponents by an average of 33.5 points.
- Both teams are hot, Jazz have won five of the last six, Thunder have taken six of the last seven.
– Randy Renner