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Utah Jazz beat OKC Thunder down to a whimper

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Russell Westbrook couldn’t stop ****.

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

This is the new version of the Game Thread. This is the Live Thread. You’re still able to overreact in the comments, claim that Tim Duncan was a center, and that Karl Malone was the best Power Forward of all-time; only now you can get live game updates from pregame to Postgame with everything in between.


4th Quarter

Utah Jazz 113 - Oklahoma City Thunder 96

Who would have dreamt this was possible last July? The Utah Jazz have now taken a 3-1 lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Donovan Mitchell finished with 29 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and an amazing block. Russell Westbrook didn’t stop **** tonight as he finished with 13 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds.

The strength of the team is the team. Utah now has a chance to end this series in 5. WOW.

11:18pm. Good win to put them on the ropes for this series. -DLC_Jazz

11:17pm. I’m out. That was fun. -DWest

11:15pm. Hey Melo and Russ, THAT is how you play basketball. -DWest

11:14pm. Glad Donovan hit that trey, but there were about three reach-in fouls on that possession.

11:14pm. Donovan ICES it!! -DLC_Jazz

11:10pm. Westbrick literally body-slammed Rubio right in front of a referee. Wow. Just wow. Gonna be tough to get the next one on the road. -DWest

11:09pm. Such a favorable whistle for OKC tonight. Lucky for the Jazz that they are missing their shots because I cannot believe some of the calls that the Thunder are getting. -DLC_Jazz

11:05pm. It’s gonna be crazy next game. For now, Jazz just need to slow down and not do anything crazy. Also, for all the OKC fans who said the solution to their defensive problems was Huestis...LOOOOOOL. -DWest

11:01pm. Weak sauce foul on Ingles there. And ridiculous no-call on Westbrook. What a tool. -DWest

11:00pm. I’m sorry but how are they focusing on that incidental elbow? That was not the issue, Crowder clearly didn’t see Adams. How could they not eject Westbrook for the clothesline? The Jazz have this game in the bag but it’s the principle of it. -DLC_Jazz

10:58pm.

10:56pm. Hopefully nobody gets suspended. This is getting ridiculous. -DWest

10:49pm. Westbrook with the clear clothesline, just pure pettiness. -DLC_Jazz

10:48pm. I can’t believe how chippy this game has been but I guess if you’re the Thunder you are getting desperate at this point and frustration is starting to boil over. -DLC_Jazz

10:48pm. Westbrick is a joke and should be suspended for Game 5. Felton has outplayed him in this series. Raymond. Felton. -DWest

10:45pm. I hope they eject him for that one. There is no room for that and they should send a message.- DLC_Jazz

10:44pm. Felton grabbed Gobert’s nuts. He must have been hangry. -DWest

10:43pm. Hope Crowder is okay. He’s been atrocious on offense, but his D has been good. -DWest

10:41pm. It’s incredible how much better the Thunder look with Russ off the floor. He’s a great player, but he’s been an albatross tonight. -DWest

10:40pm. Man, Exum has got to learn how to be under control. The speed is good but I hope he can learn to play without turning it over so much. -DLC_Jazz

10:39pm. Not a great start to the 4th, but if these guys can hold off a run then the game is ours. Exum is too out of control. He needs to slow it down on those breaks. -DWest


3rd Quarter

Utah Jazz 90 - OKC Thunder 73

This is just amazing. Team ball is beating iso ball. The strength of the team is the team and Quin Snyder’s team IS ON THE FLOOR. Donovan Mitchell just took over in that third quarter, taking out OKC defenders like he was Snake from Metal Gear Solid. It was quite the spectacle. The Utah Jazz’s starters are all playing extremely well. Ricky Rubio continues to dominate this game without scoring. The Oklahoma City Thunder are on the edge of falling apart. Utah just needs to continue to play possession by possession and resist the urge to go for the knock out blow with 12 minutes left.

10:34pm. I was just thinking after that Abrines three, if the OKC starters played that way we would be in some serious trouble. -DLC_Jazz

10:33pm. Amazing what the Thunder do when their scrubs are in. They move the ball so well. -DWest

10:29pm. Yoooooo we’re up by 19 y’all! I am SO glad that Carmelo is still on the floor. -DWest

10:28pm. Yeah, Royce O’Neale is invaluable to have on the court for his defense alone. Any offense is just the cherry on top. -DLC_Jazz

10:27pm. We keep saying that Donovan doesn’t look like a rookie, which is true. But know who else looks way too composed to be a rookie? Royce O’Neale. What a dude. He’s had his rookie stretches, sure, but he’s looked good in this series. -DWest

10:25pm. Carmelo has already got a whole house full of bricks tonight. -DLC_Jazz

10:24pm. OKC is not going away. Jazz gotta keep their foot on the accelerator. -DWest

10:17pm. Carmelo really should start his own bricklaying business after he retires from the NBA. He’ll have plenty of money for union dues. -DWest

10:16pm. That’s too easy for DFav. They have the Thunder all discombobulated on defense right now.- DLC_Jazz

10:14pm. Ruh roh. -DWest

10:13pm. Can’t lose momentum now. Gotta stop the 6-0 run.- DLC_Jazz

10:12pm. Commentator: “I wonder at what point OKC thinks about going to isolation plays.”

Me: AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHA AHAH HA. -DWest

10:07pm. I don’t care if PG13 wins the series and the championship somehow. He’ll have nightmares about Joseph Howarth Ingles until the day he dies. -DWest

10:06pm. The Jazz are looking a lot less sloppy to start the second half. Rubio burying a 3 is also a good sign.- DLC_Jazz

10:05pm. My goodness. Beautiful ball movement on that first play. -DWest


2nd Quarter

Utah Jazz - 58 - OKC Thunder 52

Oklahoma City Thunder v Utah Jazz - Game Four Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

*huge exhale* Wow. Just wow. Can you believe that half? OKC definitely had the game plan of being extra physical and making the referees call it. They tried this scorched earth strategy and midway through the 2nd quarter it looked like it was working. Then it all fell apart. It coincided with Ricky Rubio checking back in. Ricky Rubio is a +9 in this game. He only has 6 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists, but his fingerprints are all over this game and all over Russell Westbrook’s 4 fouls.

For some reason Billy Donovan kept Russell Westbrook in the game with 3 fouls with 7 minutes left in the 2nd quarter and with only 2 minutes Westbrook picked up his fourth foul.

Joe Ingles finally started making so threes. And boy was it glorious. Joe Ingles was feeling it. That final 4 minutes of the second quarter was absolutely glorious. It’s crazy to say, but the Utah Jazz played most of the first half frantically and they went into halftime with a 6 point lead.

AND WE HAVEN’T EVEN TALKED ABOUT DONOVAN MITCHELL YET. He’s the Jazz’s leading scorer with 13 points. The strength of Utah is the team. Royce O’Neale put in some extremely good bench minutes and kept Utah afloat during Rubio’s time off the floor. He’s a big reason why Utah’s ahead.

9:47pm. See? What’d I tell you? Joe Ingles just needs to keep shooting. Another critique I have for the half is that there have been a few times when it looked like the Jazz exchanged easy looks inside for questionable 3pt kickouts. BUT, all-in-all I’m satisfied. The Jazz survived the Thunder’s initial punch, and are now up by six. Good stuff. The Jazz will need to weather another storm to start the third, and if they can do that I think they win. -DWest

9:46pm. Joe probably deserved that tech. Just sayin’. But I don’t mind it. -DWest

9:45pm. And when he gets tripped up and hits the deck.-DLC_Jazz

9:45pm. Know what puts my heart in my throat? Anytime Gobert dribbles. -DWest

9:43pm. Gobert and Adams are so good at setting screens. It’s amazing. I wish Adams was on our team. Could you imagine double screens set by those two? -DWest

9:43pm. Nice bail out shot by Rubio there.-DLC_Jazz

9:41pm. Mine has been since about 4 o’clock today. -DWest

9:39pm. Is anyone’s heart stuck in their throat? Just mine? Okay. - Mychal

9:37pm. Where was the foul on the dunk attempt?! Oh. He just missed. Awkward. -DWest

9:36pm. How many turnovers can Crowder have in one half?- DLC_Jazz

9:32pm. MOAR shots from Carmelo! -DWest

9:31pm. Mitchell is just amazing!- DLC_Jazz

9:30pm. Seems that the crowd isn’t nearly as raucous tonight. Gonna need them late. Also, 3 fouls on Russ is significant. -DWest

9:28pm. They are being too physical, the Jazz are going to make a run at some point and the physicality is going to backfire on them. -DLC_Jazz

9:27pm. Thunder are playing with house money. They know that they have a bit more latitude to play with physicality, and they’re pushing the limits. So far there don’t seem to be many, but the Jazz DID get that one pushoff call. -DWest

9:25pm. Wow wow wow. The refs saw the line and are trying to make some cash. -DWest

9:24pm. He just needs to keep shooting. He’ll make them eventually. -DWest

9:23pm. Yeah and if Ingles could hit at least one 3 pointer this game that would be great.-DLC_Jazz

9:22pm. Dear Jazz, please dunk more. <3/DWest

9:17pm CROWDER DID A THING! -DWest


1st Quarter

Utah Jazz 24 - OKC Thunder 30

That was a bruising and physical 1st quarter. The OKC Thunder have nothing to lose by being physical so they’re pushing the officials to call it. They have turned this into a full blown church ball game. The Utah Jazz are getting called with a tight whistle that finally calmed down by the end of the 1st quarter. That included Royce O’Neale getting called for a foul that was really Steven Adams on Russell Westbrook. That was two foul shots right there.

Paul George is getting away with some classic push-off BS. Jazz gotta bounce back. If they can keep their cool, they win this game.

9:11pm. Dante just goes flying every time he drives to the hole. -DWest

9:09pm. Great recovery by Dante- DLC_Jazz

9:07pm. Neither team has really made a big run yet. -DWest

9:05pm. The Jazz dodged a bullet by Rudy not getting that second foul. Honestly feels like it’s going to come down to Gobert vs. Adams right now as the x-factors for each team. -DLC_Jazz

9:03pm. Crowder has been less than ideal tonight. But he’s played better defense than Jerebko would. -DWest

9:02pm. This is some bull****. - Mychal

9:02pm. If PG keeps shooting like this we may be in trouble.

9:00pm. Mitchell looks like a man possessed right now.- DLC_Jazz

8:59pm. This game feels like it’s walking on the edge of the volcano. Things could blow up at any minute. - Mychal

8:58pm. I’m so glad that Garbagio Harmless isn’t on this team. Totally useless when things get chippy like this. -DWest

8:56pm. Real talk, if Melo’s name were John Doe he would be the 13th man on this team. -DWest

8:55pm. I never want to see a Jae Crowder fast break again. - Mychal

8:55pm. The refs are letting them the Thunder play. -DWest

8:54pm. I think DMitch is taking this game personally. -DLC_Jazz

8:49pm. Thunder need to keep feeding Adams. -DWest

8:48pm.

Please get Donovan going, that would be awesome!- DLC_Jazz

8:46pm. RUDY GOBERT BLOCK BOOM!!! - Mychal

8:46pm. Playoff T for Playoff P. -DWest

8:45pm. GOALTEND by Adams. -DLC_Jazz

8:44pm. BROOOOOOO. Ingles crossed Pushoff P out of his socks! Twice. -DWest

8:43pm. Please make layups, Jazz. And let Carmelo shoot as much as he wants. -DWest

8:42pm. I like the flow of the game so far, lot’s of ISO ball so far for the Thunder.....


Pregame

8:40pm. Yes, Russell Westbrook, try to shut Ricky Rubio down. Open up the floor. YES. LET THE HATE CONSUME YOU. - Mychal

8:38pm. Yes, it’s hilarious to hear the TNT guys arguing about how “you CANNOT let Ricky Rubio score 20 points.......”. That’s not the only way for Ricky to by effective though.

8:36pm. I hope Westbrook and the Thunder DO make Ricky Rubio the focus of their defense. That’ll free up so many other options. -DWest

8:36pm. I’m just stoked for this game. Got a good feeling about it, but Utah has to approach this game like it’s an elimination game. Time to put their foot on the gas and take full control of this series.

8:34pm. Bro. You can’t assume that we move on yet! Still gotta win two more...but I’m always negative, so I guess we can balance each other out. -DWest

8:33pm. I hope that Rudy can make a difference against Houston that we didn’t see in the regular season, assuming that we move on to face them.

8:33pm. Yes. The Wolves were close in the first half because the Rockets were missing shots. That’s it. Once Harden and CP3 started to cook, the Wolves had zero chance. -DWest

8:32pm. Looks like the Rockets took care of the Timberwolves quickly tonight. That series is probably over. Whoever wins this series isn’t going to get any extra favors from Rubio’s ex-teammates. - Mychal

8:28pm. Oh who’s excited for some good old fashioned playoff action. The FRIENDS are in action tonight against the Thunder. - Mychal

8:10pm. What’s good, Jazz fans? Like most of you, I couldn’t make it to the game. So I’m here on my couch waiting for the Houston Rockets to finish boatracing the Minnesota Timberwolves. I was watching that one during the first quarter thinking “Man, those are good shots, but they’re all bricks. Once they start going in, this one is over.”

Yeah. It’s over.

Vegas has moved the line for UTA/OKC from -4.0, where it’s been for most of today, to UTA -4.5. I don’t like it when they pick us to win, but it’s hard not to feel good about our chances tonight. People will say that the player to watch is Russell Westbrook, due to his comments about Ricky Rubio, but I still say that the bellwether is Paul George. As PG13 goes, so go the Thunder. Another crucial player is Steven Adams, who is their only hope to protect the paint and/or contain Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert. -DWest


Game Info:

When: Monday, Apr. 23, 2018 •8:30 PM MT

Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

TV: ESPN, AT&T Sports Net - Rocky Mountain

Radio: 1280 AM/97.5 FM The Zone

Injuries:

Utah Jazz:

Thabo Sefolosha - knee - out for season

Oklahoma City Thunder:

Andre Roberson - knee - out for season


Ground Rules

Welcome to the SLC Dunk Live Thread. This is new as we’ll have game updates throughout it. Dunkers know how this thing works, but for you lurkers ready to make the jump to Dunker, we have a few guidelines. Remember to follow our community guidelines (no swearing, trolling, excessive use of Jerry Sloan’s name in vain, no personal attacks, no debates about Utah liquor laws, etc.). Remember to have fun. Anyone who dare blasphemes that Tim Duncan was a Power Forward or John Stockton is not the best point guard of all-time will receive an automatic ban. Just kidding. But seriously.