Originally posted on Thunder The Influence  |  Last updated 4/8/13
  Game Time: 8:00 PM CT Television/Radio: FS Oklahoma/WWLS 98.1 FM Line: Oklahoma City -3.5 Oklahoma City Thunder Split Utah Jazz 56-21 Record 41-37 106.0 Points Per Game 98.5 96.8 Opponent PPG 98.6 33-6 Home Record 29-10 23-15 Away Record 12-27 L1 Streak W2 6-4 Last 10 7-3   Tuesday night, two division rivals will square off in Salt Lake City. Late in the year, this one has plenty of meaning and impact on the playoffs. It all comes down to who wants it more. The Thunder are fighting for the top spot in the Western Conference, though, indirectly they would be setting up a potential first round series with the Los Angeles Lakers. Plenty of fans would much rather see the Utah Jazz in the first round, but in order for them to be there, they need to keep winning. Tuesday they'll have their chance to extend their current two game win streak to three, and with major playoff implications, Salt Lake should be popping. It was one of the toughest places to play in the NBA with a home crowd much like Oklahoma City's one pro sport fanbase. However, in order for the Thunder to top the Jazz, they'll have to stop Utah's big front court and an unextremely underrated cast. Utah will be missing Enes Kanter, who is out indefinitely due to a dislocated shoulder he suffered Mar. 28. Also, Alec Burks (sprained left ankle) and Kevin Murphy (skin infection) missed Utah's Sunday win over the Warriors. Their availability is questionable. Injuries aside, the Thunder are completely healthy. However, they have been a team unable to pick up any steam heading in to the postseason. The Thunder suffered a setback to the Knicks Sunday afternoon, and have been shaky as of late. Their inability to rebound has increasingly become an issue, and unfortunately, they will find it difficult to crash the boards with Utah's massive post presence. On top of a stacked front court, the Thunder will have to stop a Jazz team that ranks ninth in three-point shooting percentage. The Thunder defense isn't horrible, but they could be splitting the season series with the Jazz if they are able to work the perimeter and attack the Thunder interior. Utah does not exactly match the pace of Oklahoma City, and while their defense ranks in the top five for blocks and steals per game, they give up 107.1 points per 100 possessions, putting them in the bottom ten of defensive efficiency in the NBA. The Thunder offense can not go on any dry spells, attack mode has to be the mindset of this team when they visit EnergySolutions Arena. Utah is fighting for their season, which means they will give Oklahoma City their best shot with not much basketball left to play. It should make out to be a good game, but at the end of the day, the Thunder may have a shot to show if they can win a tight game. Be sure to follow @ThunderBlogger on Twitter for updates throughout the night.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Is Anthony Davis really the best big man from UK in the NBA?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sixers rookie Ben Simmons has fracture in foot

Olympic wrestler turned ISIS recruit killed in U.S. drone strike

Report: Jamaal Charles to play Sunday against Steelers

Dez Bryant says he will not play Sunday against 49ers

Bill O’Brien officially rules J.J. Watt out for season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Eric Decker out Sunday with partial tear in rotator cuff

Report: Browns planning to part ways with Josh Gordon

Noah skips dinner at West Point because he's anti-war

Giants could use wide receiver at safety against Vikings

Ryan Tannehill does not mince words regarding offense

Russell Wilson on playing Sunday against Jets: ‘No doubt’

WATCH: Is it time for the Jaguars to fire Gus Bradley?

Combing through the crowded 2016 MLB MVP races

The Blue Jays and the meaning of a late season freefall

CFB Crash Course: Week 5 - Less one Les

Box Score: 9/30 - Dolphins, Popovich and MLB umps

Seven most absurd stats heading into NFL Week 4

Antonio Brown to honor Arnold Palmer with custom cleats

The best and worst from the 2016 World Cup of Hockey

Players Jurgen Klinsmann may call up for USMNT friendlies

Byron Scott has no relationship with D’Angelo Russell

Steve Kerr favors shorter NBA preseason to limit back-to-backs

Flaws of MLB replay system exposed in Cardinals’ victory

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Is it time for the Jaguars to fire Gus Bradley?

Combing through the crowded 2016 MLB MVP races

The Blue Jays and the meaning of a late season freefall

CFB Crash Course: Week 5 - Less one Les

NBA winners and losers: Gregg Popovich as a voice of reason

WATCH: Will LSU have to sell its soul to find its next head coach?

The clubhouse leaders for MLB Rookies of the Year

Goodbye, Ted: 20 years of highs and lows at Turner Field

Forza Horizon 3 review: Going Top Gear

NFL Kickoff Week 4: Guess what? The NFL is dying again

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker