The Oklahoma City Thunder needed a last-second shot Friday night to earn a victory. The last time they faced the Utah Jazz, the thrilling outcome didn't go their way.
The Thunder and the Jazz meet in Oklahoma City on Sunday night for the first time since last season's exciting finish when their stars lit up the scoreboard.
Deron Williams scored 42 points and hit a 20-foot jumper with 1.1 seconds left in overtime to trump Kevin Durant's 45-point night and give the Jazz a 140-139 win in Oklahoma City on April 6.
This meeting may have a much different result considering how these teams have opened the season.
The Thunder (2-0) have won their first two games for the second straight season, including Friday night's 105-104 victory at Detroit on Jeff Green's layup with 2.5 seconds remaining.
That game came two days after Oklahoma City needed a late 11-0 run to beat Chicago 106-95.
"We still played hard both games," coach Scott Brooks told the Thunder's official website. "There's going to be nights where you don't play well but your effort has to be there and it's been there the last two nights."
Green scored 21 points in both games. Despite cutting off contract talks with the team last week, Green has continued to improve his game, according to Brooks.
"He's really developing a nice low post (game) on the left block," Brooks said. "He has strength. He's a strong, strong kid. He puts pressure on the defense. You put a smaller guy on him and he can post them up and a bigger guy he can shoot out on the 3-point line. He's been good for us and we want him to work on those parts of his game."
Durant, the league's reigning scoring champion, had 30 points for the second consecutive game Friday. Russell Westbrook had a second straight double-double with 17 points and 11 assists.
Durant averaged 34.8 points against the Jazz last season and Westbrook added 20.5 per game as the Thunder won three of four meetings, including both in Oklahoma.
Utah (0-2) hasn't fared as well this season.
The Jazz are off to their worst start since 2002-03 - the final season John Stockton and Karl Malone played together. They've gone 3 for 13 from 3-point range in both games and are shooting 40.9 percent from the field.
Utah hasn't held a lead in either of its blowout losses, including Friday night's 110-94 defeat to visiting Phoenix.
Williams was held to 13 points on 3-of-12 shooting.
"There's no rhythm - offensively and defensively," Williams said. "It's almost like we have too much right now. I guess we do need to simplify things."
Al Jefferson scored 20 points and Paul Millsap added 19 and 13 rebounds, but the Jazz gave up 110 points for a second straight game.
"Things are not going our way," Millsap said. "We've got to continue to stay with it. I mean we've got to continue to get better. We got punched in the mouth twice in our first two games."
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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