Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) shoots over Oklahoma City Thunder guard Vit Krejci (27) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 6, 2022, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Bojan Bogdanovic said making a Utah Jazz franchise-record 11 3-pointers wasn’t all that complicated.
He simply chalked it up to being open. He said the Oklahoma City Thunder helped so much on stopping the All-Star pick-and-roll combination of guard Donovan Mitchell and center Rudy Gobert that it left him room to shoot comfortably.
Bogdanovic scored 35 points to help the Jazz defeat the Thunder 116-103 on Sunday night.
Bogdanovic’s previous career high for made 3s was eight — a total he had reached by the end of the third quarter. He attempted 18 3-pointers — five more than his previous career high.
“Every single shot was a good shot, even if I was hot or not,” Bogdanovic said. “So even if I didn’t get them in the first quarter or second quarter, I would keep shooting.”
Oklahoma City coach Mark Daigneault knew it could be a problem if the Thunder didn’t get out on Bogdanovic.
“His early looks were clean, and he’s a guy that, he walks in the gym confident,” Daigneault said. “But when he sees the first three or four go in and they’re open like that, he’s hard to turn off.”
Bogdanovic only attempted one shot inside the 3-point line — a miss. He made both of his free throws.
Mitchell had 24 points and 10 assists, and Jordan Clarkson added 20 points for the Jazz.
Utah bounced back from a 124-90 loss to New Orleans on Friday.
“I’ve been playing basketball for a while, so never too high or too low,” Bogdanovic said. “You know that 82 games is a long season. It’s going to be a lot of up and down. But it’s great for the team to rebound, bounce back from that bad loss.”
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 33 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for the Thunder.
Oklahoma City was missing starters Josh Giddey (sore right hip) and Lu Dort (left shoulder strain). Oklahoma City has said Giddey, a rookie point guard, will be out at least two more weeks.
“Guys just kind of played through it, scrambled, executed anyways,” Daigneault said. “Used our toughness and our scrap kind of to junk the game up a little bit, which we kind of had to do tonight to keep ourselves in it and give ourselves a chance.”
The Jazz shot 51.3% in the first half to take a 61-45 lead at the break. Gilgeous-Alexander scored 20 points in the first half.
The Thunder started strong in the second half. Aleksej Pokusevski blocked Gobert’s layup attempt against the glass, and it led to a fast break layup by Aaron Wiggins that cut Utah’s lead to 66-55.
Utah recovered with a 18-6 run that featured three 3-pointers by Bogdanovic. The Jazz led 91-76 at the end of the third quarter.
Oklahoma City cut its deficit to 105-97 on a 3-pointer by Theo Maledon with just under four minutes remaining, but Bogdanovic hit three more 3s to keep the Jazz in control.
Jazz: G Mike Conley did not play (rest). … Went on a 13-0 run in the first quarter. … Bogdanovic scored 14 points in the first quarter. … Gobert had 12 points and 17 rebounds.
Thunder: C Isaiah Roby, who had averaged 23.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in his previous two games, sat out with back soreness. … Gilgeous-Alexander scored 10 points in the first quarter. … G Tre Mann scored on a floater right before the first-half buzzer after missing his first seven shots. … Pokusevski had 12 points and 11 rebounds. … Rookie Olivier Sarr had 11 points and nine rebounds.
Gilgeous-Alexander continued his hot streak.
In his six games since returning from an ankle injury, he has scored at least 30 points five times. He is averaging 33.3 points, 6.0 assists and 6.0 rebounds while shooting 56.6% from the field during that stretch.
Utah G Trent Forrest, on playing Dallas on Monday with a chance to claim the season tiebreaker: “I feel like everybody knows this is somebody we’ll probably see in the playoffs, … So I mean, I feel like we’re all going to be locked in for it.”
The Jazz made 23 of 52 3-pointers, while the Thunder made 8 of 40.
Jazz: At the Dallas Mavericks on Monday.
Thunder: Host the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday.