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Oklahoma City Thunder’s Taj Gibson exits win over Utah Jazz in third quarter

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OKC was outscored 46-34 minus its newly-minted starting power forward

NBA: Utah Jazz at Oklahoma City Thunder Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Two and a half quarters into his second start with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Taj Gibson suffered a mild left hip injury.

Following an awkward foot plant, Gibson left Saturday's contest at the 4:48 mark of the penultimate frame and did not return. Though Oklahoma City held on for a 112-104 victory vs. Utah, home-standing OKC was outscored 46-34 with Gibson sidelined.

Further, as Gibson convalesced, Oklahoma City's offense misfired while Russell Westbrook garnered just one assist during an overall Thunder (10-29 FGA, and 1-of-7 3PM) drought.

Prior to his injury, during 22 minutes of play, Gibson added 15 points and six rebounds on 7-of-9 shooting.

In spite of Oklahoma City’s rough patch minus Gibson, the Thunder has now defeated Northwest-division leader Utah on three-consecutive occasions to finish the teams’ season series with a 3-1 advantage.

The rejuvenated Thunder is 2-0 since placing trade-deadline acquisition Gibson into the starting lineup.

During this stretch, OKC has upended Western Conference standouts San Antonio and Utah. These quality wins follow a four-game losing streak against sub .500 competition.

After being evaluated, Gibson returned to OKC’s bench, though with Oklahoma City sporting a comfortable lead the 31-year-old was held out due to precautionary measures.

Preliminary reports suggest that Gibson will be listed as day-to-day ahead of Oklahoma City’s Tuesday road contest vs. the Brooklyn Nets.