Burks leads Jazz past Thunder 98-81
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) The Utah Jazz seemed to be sleepwalking against the undermanned Oklahoma City Thunder. It took an outburst from their rookie coach to wake them up.
After seeing his team trail by as many as 17 points in the first half, Quin Snyder stormed past half-court and yelled at the officials, getting a technical foul.
He then turned to his own team and shouted, ''Wake up!''
Alec Burks marshaled the response with 20 points and a career-high 14 rebounds to lead the Utah Jazz to a 98-81 win over the reeling Thunder on Tuesday night.
''His (Snyder's) tech basically set the whole tone. We needed a spark from somewhere and Coach Snyder gave us that spark,'' said Trey Burke, who scored 11 of his 17 points in the second half and finished with nine assists.
The coach continued to fire up his team at halftime and the onslaught continued as the Jazz shot 51 percent in the second half and ran on every opportunity.
''Going into the half, we went on a run and had really picked up our energy there. We just kept on going the rest of the game,'' Burks said.
Enes Kanter added 16 points and a season-high 15 boards for the Jazz, who enjoyed a 55-44 edge on the glass.
Jeremy Lamb scored 19 for the Thunder, who led by as many as 17 in the first half but has now lost three straight and seven of nine.
The Jazz, who went 2-3 on a long Eastern Conference road trip, looked sluggish in the early going. After trailing by double-digits much of the opening half, Snyder ran onto the court to protest a foul call on Stephen Adams' attempted dunk in the second quarter.
His extended tirade directed at official Courtney Kirkland earned him his first technical foul as a head coach. After Jackson made the free throw, the Jazz responded with 10 straight points.
''Defensively, we had lost our identity and on offense we looked stuck in mud. You look for energy, some juice, wherever you can find it,'' said Snyder, who claimed the technical wasn't a tactic but a result of frustration.
Utah cut the margin to 42-40 at halftime.
''The end of the second quarter was bad offense. We were looking for `our' shot instead of a team shot. And then the defense didn't come to play in the third,'' Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.
The Jazz scored 32 points in the third quarter after the lethargic start and finished the quarter on a 13-2 run. The spurt featured 3s from Joe Ingles, Burks and a capper from Exum that brought the crowd to its feet and gave Utah a 72-59 lead. The Jazz never looked back from there.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT:
''It's all about pace, man. Moving the basketball. Thinking about the next pass and the next play you're going to make before you get the ball. It's something we've been talking about since training camp. When the ball is moving, everybody is a threat and we're pretty hard to guard,'' said Gordon Hayward, who had 13 points.
Two nights after the Thunder shot a franchise-worst 29.4 percent in a 69-65 home loss to Houston, Oklahoma City had a tough time finding its range again. The Thunder made 30 of 84 field goal attempts and was 8-for-23 from 3-point range. Big men Adams and Kendrick Perkins were the only Oklahoma City players to make more than half their shots.
Thunder: Beside the glaring absence of injured Durant and Westbrook, the Thunder were also missing Perry Jones, Mitch McGary, Andre Roberson and Grant Jerrett. ... In a workout earlier in the day, Durant moved around the court well just one month after surgery and Westbrook was shooting with his right hand, where he suffered the metacarpal fracture.
Jazz: Dante Exum, the No. 3 pick of the draft, had one glaring weakness heading into his debut season - outside shooting. After hitting his first three 3s, Exum had a streak of six in a row from beyond the arc before missing his final attempt.
Thunder: At Denver on Wednesday.
Jazz: Visit Golden State on Friday.