russell westbrook vs utah jazz 2017Russell Westbrook ignited the Oklahoma City Thunder, then his teammates put the Utah Jazz away in the third quarter.

Westbrook had 24 points and 10 rebounds to help the Thunder trounce the Jazz 107-79 on Wednesday night.

After being outscored in the third quarter in 14 of their prior 16 games, the Thunder used it to take control this time. Paul George and Carmelo Anthony both scored 10 points in the frame to help Oklahoma City take an 87-60 lead into the fourth.

Westbrook made 10 of 13 shots and had seven assists and four steals. George and Anthony both ended with 18 points. For the first time in a while, the Thunder looked like they enjoyed playing.

Oklahoma City has won eight of 11 after a rough start to the season. The Thunder (16-15) are above .500 for the first time since early November.

Rodney Hood scored 17 points for the Jazz, who have lost six of seven.

Rookie Donovan Mitchell sat out with a right big toe contusion. Through 31 games, he led the Jazz with 17.7 points per game. The Jazz already was missing center Rudy Gobert, who missed his third straight game with a left knee ligament strain.

Westbrook scored 20 points in the first half to help the Thunder take a 53-37 lead at the break.

Oklahoma City shot 54 percent in the first half, despite George and Anthony combining to make just 4 of 14 shots. They combined to make 5 of 9 in one of Oklahoma City’s best third quarters of the season.

The Thunder have outscored their opponents in the third quarter eight times this season, and they have won all eight games. All but one of those wins have come by double digits. Included are victories over Golden State, Indiana, and Milwaukee.


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