Secondary players key in Oklahoma City Thunder, Utah Jazz series

Tanya Simon
April 19, 2018

Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz waits for Game One of the Western Conference in the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Oklahoma City Thunder to start at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on April 15, 2018 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Despite having three dynamic scorers in Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George the Thunder have looked lost at times in the series in the half court.

Another 3-pointer by Rubio gave Utah a 92-89 lead with 4:02 left, and the lead reached 99-93 on Mitchell's basket with 1:33 left.

X-rays and an MRI taken after the game came back negative.

All of that made this a game it felt like the Jazz needed to win - there are few chances to steal a game on the road against a good team, and this was one.

Mitchell, who averaged 20.5 points during the regular season, had 27 points and 10 rebounds in Utah's opening defeat. Some of that is on the Thunder, but a lot of it has to do with the Jazz's defence.

The Jazz have an opportunity to take control of the series with the next two games on their home court in Salt Lake City. OKC turned the ball over nine times in the opening quarter but trailed just 26-25 behind 10 points by Westbrook. Abrines had a promising Game 1 as he had three 3-pointers in 21 minutes.

Virginia foresters heading to Oklahoma amid life-threatening wildfire weather
In Oklahoma, temperatures were expected to soar into the 90s with winds gusting to 40 miles per hour or higher. At least one wildfire was started yesterday due to careless actions that violated the Burn Ban in place.

Adams finished with nine points and seven rebounds, playing 22 minutes.

That's when Mitchell stepped up. Only the Lakers were a worst free throw shooting team than the Thunder.

The seventh-year guard is making his first playoff appearance and went 5-of-18 from the field, finishing with 13 points. Mitchell slashed into the lane for a bucket, and Rubio drilled a corner three (after a dunk by Adams).

Adams picked up his fourth foul with 6:46 left in the third quarter and the Thunder down 65-58, yet Oklahoma City responded with a run. The trio combined to score only two points on 0-for-16 shooting in the fourth quarter.

Coach's Quote of the Night "As much as anything, I think our team stayed together".

"The biggest thing for us, Derrick Favors played his ass off", Mitchell said after the game. Six of his points came in the fourth quarter - the rest of the Thunder shot 3 of 24 in the period.

"Donovan's aggressiveness on the offensive end fueled us", Snyder said.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER