The Oklahoma City Thunder stumbled out of the gate on Wednesday night.
Hitting the road to open regular season play, the Thunder lost 107-86 to the Utah Jazz in a game they were never really in.
The Jazz sprinted out to a quick start and were able to keep Oklahoma City at arm’s length, extending the lead with a 16-6 run to start the second quarter.
"Credit to them," Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault said after the game. "I thought our guys did a lot of good things. I thought we played all 48 (minutes).
"Good lessons we can learn."
While the Jazz got every shot they wanted from beyond the arc, the Thunder struggled to shoot as a whole.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander especially struggled, shooting just 7-of-17 from the floor, ending up with 18 points, four rebounds and two assists. Lu Dort was also unable to follow up on his hot shooting starting the preseason, scoring seven points on 20.0 percent shooting.
Darius Bazley also had a tough shooting start, scoring 15 points on 5-of-14 shooting, but the third-year player added seven rebounds to help out on the boards.
As a team, the Thunder shot a dismal 20.0 percent from 3-point range, and were unable to claw their way back into the game as a result.
"This is just a team that's hard to get cracks against," Daigneault said. "... You really got to work to get those opportunities. I thought there were times where we did that and got good shots, but there were times where we were a little antsy."
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Matters were made worse for OKC when their defense failed them in the third quarter.
Utah shot Oklahoma City out of the gym out of the half, dropping 29 points in the frame largely due to their 6-of-12 sharpshooting from deep.
But in the face of a lopsided defeat, Daigneault wasn't too down on his team's performance.
"We did a lot of good things against a really, really good team," Daigneault said. "There's a lot of lessons we can draw from it.
"And it's good to play against a team like them this early in the season because they're going to expose the things that you need to improve."
In the end, Bojan Bogdanovic led all scorers for Utah, finishing the game with 22 points.
While the result wasn’t what the Thunder wanted, three of their four rookie draft picks made their NBA debuts on Wednesday night.
Josh Giddey, the No. 6-overall pick, played 28 minutes, scoring four points, pulling down 10 rebounds (a recored for a Thunder rookie in their debut), and adding three assists. Fellow first-round pick Tre Mann also made an impact off the bench, finishing with nine points on 4-of-7 shooting.
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl got his first taste of playing center in the NBA, and though he struggled at times defensively, he was a bright spot on the other end of the floor for the Thunder reserves. The former Villanova big tallied 10 points and two rebounds.
Oklahoma City will have another chance to get back on track on Friday night when the Thunder will head south to face the Houston Rockets. Tip-off from Houston is scheduled for 7 p.m.