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Shorthanded Utah Jazz hand the Oklahoma City Thunder 7th straight setback

Apr 13, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) looks to pass against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Darius Bazley (7) and center Moses Brown (9) in the first quarter at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 23 points, Donovan Mitchell added 22 and the shorthanded Utah Jazz bounced back from a rough first quarter to defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder 106-96 Tuesday night in Salt Lake City.

The loss, OKC’s seventh in a row, spoiled a career-high 42 points from the Thunder’s Lu Dort.

Utah played without three regulars — Joe Ingles (knee soreness), Royce O’Neale (rest) and Jordan Clarkson (ankle sprain) — but still had six players reach double-figure scoring and three register double-doubles to bounce back from Monday’s home loss to Washington.

Rudy Gobert came within three blocks of a triple-double, scoring 13 points with 14 rebounds and seven swats, and Mike Conley returned to the lineup after skipping Monday’s game for load management to compile 15 points and 14 assists. Georges Niang took advantage of his first start this season with 18 points and 10 rebounds as the Jazz won for the 12th time in 15 games.

This was a wild pendulum-swing game, as the Jazz trailed by as many as 17 and led by as many as 25 before settling in on a 10-point victory margin thanks to a late 19-2 OKC run.

Dort hit four of his seven 3-pointers and scored 18 in the first quarter to lead the Thunder to a surprising 31-14 lead.

Conley began the Jazz’s comeback with a layup and then Niang hit consecutive 3-pointers to help Utah end the quarter on an 8-0 run. That spurt expanded to 13-0 after a Matt Thomas jumper and a Conley 3, making it 31-27 early in the second.

The Jazz, playing their third game in four nights, caught up and took their first lead at 42-41 on a Mitchell 3-pointer.

Utah quickly built on that two-point halftime lead by outscoring OKC 17-3 to begin the third quarter. A finger roll layup by Jarrell Brantley, who had a season-high 10, gave the Jazz an 88-69 lead heading into the final quarter.

Ty Jerome (14 points) and Moses Brown (12 points and 15 rebounds) were the only other players along with Dort to reach double digits for the Thunder.

Dort, who only averages 12.6 points per game, scored 26 against Utah earlier in the season.

–Field Level Media