Utah (51-20) marched to its league-best 51st win after jumping out to a 61-57 lead in the first half. After giving up a 31-19 run in the third quarter, Oklahoma City’s 50th loss was all but in the books.
The short-handed Thunder (21-50) shot just under 43% and battled, even with two rookies and three second-year bigs in the starting lineup. OKC made the score somewhat respectable with a 27-17 run in the fourth quarter.
Svi Mykhailiuk led the Thunder offensively with 19 points off the bench while rookies Theo Maledon and Gabriel Deck each poured in 18. Deck also grabbed six rebounds, showing promise with just two games remaining in the regular season.
Outside of Maledon, however, the Thunder’s starting lineup was held to just 19 points. Rookie Aleksej Pokusevski and Isaiah Roby scored six apiece, Moses Brown scored five, and Darius Bazley managed two.
Bojan Bogdanovic led the Jazz with 22 points while Rudy Gobert held down the fort inside, scoring 16 points while grabbing 18 boards. Jordan Clarkson chipped in 18 points off the bench, including four three-pointers.
The Jazz led from start to finish, looking the part of the Western Conference’s top team trying to close out the regular season. Oklahoma City stayed in line with its ultimate goal and now sits tied for the third-worst record in the NBA with the Orlando Magic.
The Thunder puts its season to rest Sunday night as they host the Los Angeles Clippers in a Sunday finale. Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m. C.T.