Former Weber State guard Dillon Jones savors highlight moment in win over Jazz


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SALT LAKE CITY — Brice Sensabaugh smiled and started clapping.

The Utah Jazz guard was in the middle of what he thought was a good defensive possession. Sensabaugh had denied Dillon Jones' drive to the paint and then followed him back out to the 3-point line with his hands slapping.

What's the saying? Hand down, man down?

Well …

The former Weber State guard pulled up and drilled the deep 3-pointer over Sensabaugh, and then started chirping.

"Dillon's petty," said rookie teammate Ajay Mitchell. "If you get him going, he's a bucket."

He was a bucket and then some on Tuesday.

Jones, the No. 26 pick in last month's NBA draft, looked like the best player on the court for long portions of the game as he led the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 98-75 win over the Jazz.

Keyonte George, Taylor Hendricks and Walker Kessler all sat out for the Jazz. Sensabaugh, Darius Bazley and Isaiah Collier all rested during the second half as Utah looked to manage minutes with three games in three nights.

But with how Jones played, it wouldn't have mattered who was on the court for the Jazz. The former Wildcat has looked awfully comfortable playing his first NBA minutes just down the road from where he became a collegiate star. He had 21 points against Utah on 7-of-8 shooting, and added seven rebounds and four assists.

So, yeah, he was a bucket. But what about petty?

"Nah, I'm not petty," Jones said. "I'm not a petty guy. I'm not even a trash talker, honestly. But it was just a moment."

A moment that he'll no doubt savor.

Jones was greeted with a nice ovation from the Utah crowd that featured his former Weber State coaches, teammates, and others who have been with him as a mid-major star to NBA first-round pick.

"It's dope. I mean, it couldn't honestly happen any better for me to start my career," Jones said of playing in Utah for his first summer league. "My coach is here, teammates are here, people here that came up with me through the journey. It's weird, like, them not being on the sideline with me, but it's almost like knowing you're good where you are at."

And the Thunder are quickly discovering what those in Ogden already know: Jones is really good.

"He's a winner. He wants to win, and he's about the team," OKC head coach Kam Woods said. "He impacts the game in a lot of ways; and I think for him, he's done a nice job of just picking his spots whether he's on the ball, off the ball."

Sometimes those spots just happen to be deep on the wing over a clapping opponent.

"I guess he thought he was playing good defense or something — and he did. I just hit a really tough shot, but I didn't think anything of it honestly," Jones said.

Sensabaugh, to his credit, also had a strong offensive game, scoring 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting before sitting out the second half.

But Jones said that highlight moment was more of a matter of circumstance than anything. The shot clock was going down and he had a bit of an opening, so he let it fly. It wasn't all about Sensabaugh's clap.

That, though, did make it a little sweeter and gave him some trash-talking ammunition when the shot did go down.

When Jones was asked what he said to Sensabaugh after the shot, his smile grew wide.

"I can't say that," he said.

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