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Ricky Rubio powers the Utah Jazz past the Oklahoma City Thunder for the series lead

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The Spanish Samurai was slinging daggers

NBA: Playoffs-Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz ran away from the Oklahoma City Thunder after a masterful performance from Ricky Rubio. When the Jazz went down by 10 in the first half, Rubio took over and the Jazz never looked back. Very much the bellwether for the Jazz, when Ricky Rubio has a good game the Jazz tend to win. It happened in game two and tonight in game three.

But it wasn’t just Rubio’s performance that helped the Jazz win. Rudy Gobert, along with the Jazz transition defense, has taken Russell Westbrook out of what he does best. Almost all of Westbrook’s shots have been difficult and it shows in the box score.

Gobert also got Steven Adams in foul trouble for the second game in a row. That foul trouble led to runs that helped pad the Jazz lead. It was also an interesting game to watch as Billy Donovan went small with Patrick Patterson at center. He hit a couple threes, but the Jazz were able to overcome it while keeping Gobert in the game. This bodes very well for future playoff matchups.

Joe Ingles showed up big time hitting open threes. It’s clear that putting Paul George on him is important for OKC to win, but when Ricky Rubio and Donovan Mitchell are also scoring, there aren’t a lot of answers for the Thunder.

Donovan Mitchell continued his scoring dominance. When his three ball is falling, the Jazz offense becomes explosive. And for a team that bases all of its success on their defense, having an explosive scorer makes them a big playoff threat.

Utah Jazz vs Oklahoma City Thunder: Post Game Reaction

Utah Jazz cruise to a 2-1 lead!

Posted by SLC Dunk on Saturday, April 21, 2018