In NBA circles, it's commonly accepted that the first game back home after a long road trip is often just as hard as one more road game.
So after going 3-2 on a tough road trip that saw them play several last-minute nail-biters along the West Coast, the Oklahoma City Thunder can't afford to take a dangerous young Utah Jazz team for granted on Tuesday.
Utah, at 14-13 and in the thick of the Western Conference , has been one of the most surprising teams in the NBA this season, as not much was expected from them in the aftermath of their trade of All-NBA PG Deron Williams last year.
Oklahoma City defeated them 101-87 on Friday, with the front-court duo of Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins holding the Jazz front-line of Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, the team's two leading scorers, to a 12-33 shooting night.
On the other side of the ball, Thunder All-Star PG Russell Westbrook overwhelmed Utah's Devin Harris at the point of attack, scoring 28 points on 10-20 shooting while coming up with 5 steals.
Westbrook's dominance helped Oklahoma City overcome an uncharacteristically poor shooting performance from Daequan Cook, a sharp-shooter who has been filling in for the injured Thabo Sefolosha in the team's back-court.
Utah is playing on the second night of a back-to-back after losing 86-80 to the New Orleans Hornets Monday night, but with one of the youngest rosters in the NBA, the Jazz should still have enough bounce in their legs to run with the Thunder.
The 7:00 PM game will be carried on Fox Sports Oklahoma.