Utah Jazz vs. Oklahoma City Thunder - 4/27/18 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction
27 April 2018, 12:37 | Kristine Mills
NBA: Russell Westbrook breaks the Utah Jazz in historic Oklahoma City Thunder comeback
And there was nothing the Jazz did to prevent this series from being extended.
Melo discusses the incident after the game: "My competitive nature just took over at that point, wanting to be a part of that atmosphere". "This series is all about momentum changes".
With a better balance of how and when to attack - more decisive moves by Mitchell, more aggression from Ricky Rubio, more moving the ball from Utah's catch-and-shoot role players - the Jazz might have been better equipped to stem OKC's run.
But what a difference foul trouble can make.
The Thunder trailed by 25 with 8:34 left in the third quarter before exploding on a 32-7 burst to tie the score at 78 entering the final stanza.
The Jazz were up by as much as 25 points (71-56) in the third quarter of Game 5 against the Thunder. That's what I did after the Thunder kept its season alive with a 107-99 Game 5 Wednesday victory over the Jazz.
A Jazz win would eliminate the Thunder from the playoffs. They had lost Gordon Hayward to free agency in July.
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Clint Capela scored a team-high 26 points and had 15 rebounds for the top-seeded Rockets, who pulled away in the third quarter to win their series 4-1.
The Rockets did what the Jazz were unable to do. Gobert returned to the court later in the third quarter, but referees called a fifth foul on him with 3:46 left. Russell Westbrook led the rally with 45 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists on 17 of 39 shooting while Paul George added 34 points.
The two OKC stars played off each other smoothly and effortlessly, taking turns on isolation plays, and combining on pick and rolls. OKC averaged 107.9 points in the regular season, ranking them 12th in the National Basketball Association. But the Thunder goes knowing that while its game is not pristine, its spirit is not broken.
"I thought we had a good rhythm and flow going, so went with that group", explained Donovan. Paul George and Westbrook were the only two OKC players reaching double-digits in points in game five, and they will likely need more secondary scoring to have a chance in this series. "Whenever they got to the basket, it is a different feeling when you do not have big fella back (Rudy Gobert) there", Mitchell said. And why must OKC still fight off elimination for, at best, two more games this series, which now shifts to Salt Lake City? They'll undoubtedly have to respond again to adversity in Game 6, when their goals will include keeping Gobert on the court, preventing Westbrook from going insane and, most important, not reminding anyone about how they seemingly had won the series in five games. He was seen passionately arguing with assistant coach Mo Cheeks during the comeback run and, according to Gabe Ikard (who sits courtside at Thunder home games), the conversation was clearly about Melo wanting back in the game.
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James made several early hoops on vicious drives, getting around the corner repeatedly and beating any help to the rim. James made basket after basket in the paint, racking up nine of them from within three feet by halftime.