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Mar 20, 2024 11:02 pm

Chet Holmgren takes over as Thunder club Jazz

Jazz, Thunder

Rookie Chet Holmgren scored 35 points to lead the host Oklahoma City Thunder to a 119-107 win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday.

Holmgren scored 18 of his points in the fourth quarter as the Thunder pulled away over the final 12 minutes, outscoring the Jazz 37-27.

Oklahoma City (48-20) moved back into sole possession of first place in the Western Conference and won the season series against the Jazz 3-1.

The Thunder have won three consecutive games and 13 of their past 16. Utah (29-40) has dropped three consecutive games and 14 of its past 17.

Holmgren added a season-high-tying 14 rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 31 points, seven assists and four steals for his 50th game this season with 30 or more points.

Just under four minutes into the fourth quarter, Jalen Williams fed Holmgren for an alley-oop dunk that led to a three-point play. Holmgren’s free throw capped an 18-6 run to start the period that put Oklahoma City in control for good.

Holmgren was 10 of 12 from the free-throw line, season highs in both makes and attempts. He also went 12-for-18 from the floor.

Williams finished with 18 points.

Oklahoma City forced 16 turnovers, leading to 19 points. The Thunder had 10 turnovers.

The Thunder led by a dozen just over six minutes into the game, building a quick 20-8 lead. Holmgren had nine points during that game-opening stretch.

But the Jazz battled back to take a 54-53 lead into the break.

After returning from a six-game absence on Monday against Minnesota, Jazz star Lauri Markkanen missed Wednesday’s game due to a right quadriceps contusion.

Collin Sexton led Utah with 25 points on 12-of-19 shooting. John Collins scored 16 points.

The Thunder outscored Utah 35-8 on the fastbreak.

Oklahoma City grabbed the lead for good early in the third quarter on a pair of those fastbreak opportunities, pulling within one on Holmgren’s dunk after a Cason Wallace steal, then moving in front on Holmgren’s rebound and quick feed to Williams for a layup.

–Field Level Media

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