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Utah Jazz blow 25 point lead to Russell Westbrook—errr—OKC Thunder

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Russell Westbrook found some Infinity Stones and changed the fabric of reality.

NBA: Playoffs-Utah Jazz at Oklahoma City Thunder Mark D. Smith-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 99 - Oklahoma City Thunder 107

The Utah Jazz got to learn why it’s hard to close out a team. What’s good for Utah is we saw how much they learned from game 1 to game 2 and they stepped up while playing in a playoff environment. In elimination game 1, the Utah Jazz learned quick what is required to put a team away.

Where there questionable fouls on the Jazz’s big men? Yes. Did that change the pace of the game? Yes. But blowing a 25 point lead is only possible when you beat yourself. That’s what Utah did. They went iso heavy, Donovan Mitchell tried to do too much, their guys were not getting good shots. But that’s also part of Gobert coming out of the game. Gobert provides great spacing on screens, and Utah missed that during that stretch.

Russell Westbrook found 5 infinity stones at halftime and had the game of his life. This is what worried me when Utah played OKC. Utah had to go through their stars and we saw what can happen with players like those two. The Utah Jazz will still be favored to close out this series and home. They most likely will. But this series still hasn’t become a series for Utah as they have yet to lose at home.

The biggest advice I can give is don’t give into the negativity that this game changes the ENTIRE series. Utah wasn’t favored in this game. If Utah closed it out in 5 that would have been a huge story, but it wasn’t expected. Blowing a big lead like that, does it suck? Yeah. Would it have been amazing for everyone to be talking about Utah’s dominant 4-1 series win? Hell yes. But don’t think this series is suddenly in jeopardy because the Thunder fought for their playoff lives—and reputation—at home. They didn’t lose in front of their home crowd. They were playing for their lives and pride. Now Utah gets to do the same in Salt Lake City.

Kudos to the Thunder. They earned it.


3rd Quarter

Utah Jazz 78 - Oklahoma City Thunder 78

That is how you collapse. Foul trouble, Quin Snyder putting Gobert in the game with 4 fouls. Throwing haymakers when you got two more quarters to go. Like I said with the halftime summary, the OKC Thunder were going to come out fighting for their lives. Utah would have to beat them at their best not their worst.

Russell Westbrook has played like a man possessed, but he hasn’t had to worry about Rudy Gobert. That changes in the 4th quarter. We will be fine.


2nd Quarter

Utah Jazz 56 - Oklahoma City Thunder 41

This Utah Jazz team looks every bit like the team that finished 30-8 to finish the season. Utah is dominating on both ends. OKC looks like they’re counting down the minutes until this regular season is over. Billy Donovan looks exasperated, Russell Westbrook is having one of the worst games of his career, and the Thunder crowd looks like they’ve come to attend a funeral. Westbrook has 12 points on 16 shots. Paul George has 13 points on 10 shots. Carmelo Anthony is laying bricks.

With that said, the Utah Jazz have to play disciplined for the rest of the game. This corpse of a team is probably going to try to rise up from the dead in the second half and make one last second push. Remember San Antonio last night in Golden State? They have looked more dead in the water than the Thunder in their series and even they made their last run of the season against the Thunder in Oakland.

If you had Jae Crowder and Joe Ingles as the top scorers in this game at halftime with a combined 31 points, congratulations. Now go to Vegas and make some real money. Donovan Mitchell has only 8 points on 4 shots, Ricky Rubio has had a rough game, and Derrick Favors is -3 while on the court and the Utah Jazz lead by 15 points after two quarters. Utah’s role players have come out to play. Royce O’Neale, Jae Crowder, Donovan Mitchell, and Joe Ingles all have a +/- of +13 or better. This Jazz team just plays like a team.


1st Quarter

Utah Jazz 34 - Oklahoma City 29

The quarter started out messy and it didn’t look like Utah was going to get to 20 points by the end of the 1st quarter. THEN JAE CROWDER HAPPENED. JAE CROWDER SCORED 15 POINTS ON 4-5 SHOOTING FROM 3 POINT LAND. Sorry, obligatory all caps for Jae Crowder. Adding to the scoring bonanza was Joe Ingles who scored 9 points on 3-4 shooting from three. OKC Thunder played a great game plan to start the game, frustrate Utah offensively, and all they have to show for it is being down 5 points after one.

Key takeaways from the 1st quarter: Donovan Mitchell has only scored 2 points. Ricky? 2 points. Gobert? 2 points. The Thunder are in danger right now. Utah’s main guys haven’t even stepped into the kitchen and Utah is already cooking.

7:50pm. Jae Crowder is going nuts! Of course, tonight would be the Jae Crowder game.

7:47pm. Meanwhile in Cavs-Pacers, LeBron has turned into a god.

7:45pm. Not the start you’d want to see out of Utah defensively, but the Jazz are in this despite the Oklahoma City Thunder player a strong defensive game. If you’re OKC, that’s gotta scare you.


Game Info:

When: Wednesday, Apr. 25, 2018 • 7:30 PM MT

Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena • Oklahoma City, OK

TV: NBA TV, 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.