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FINAL: Donovan Mitchell carries shorthanded Utah to shocking win over OKC

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Your friendly neighborhood Spida-Man went for 38 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists.

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

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 96 - Oklahoma City Thunder 91

DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES??? The Utah Jazz, not even a year after losing their top two scorers, in a game without their starting point guard against a team with at least three future hall of famers won 96-91. The Utah Jazz got lucky at the very end with a VERY apparent no call with Paul George getting whacked by Rudy Gobert beyond the three point line. In Gobert’s defense, that’s a foul that the NBA said they would start to not call a couple years ago with the shooter jumping into the defender. But the NBA has continued to call it with regularity until they didn’t with an NBA game on the line. That type of non call rarely goes Utah’s way.

Utah withstood another huge Russell Westbrook game. The one man wrecking crew finished with 46 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. He stepped up while Paul George went 2 for 16 from the field. The only other Thunder player in double figures was Steven Adams who finished with 19 points.

You have to feel for Oklahoma City Thunder fans. They are facing yet another gut wrenching offseason shortly after losing Kevin Durant. They will most likely be losing Paul George in free agency, dealing with Carmelo Anthony’s horrendous contract which they will plead with him to allow them to buy out, then probably putting Russell Westbrook on the trade block during the summer until the trade deadline. This is the end of the road for Sam Presti’s Thunder. A team that has drafted three MVPs (assuming that James Harden wins MVP this year), traded for a now All-Star Victor Oladipo, drafted another All Star in Serge Ibaka, and had some of the most exciting teams in the league is at the end of an era. Utah Jazz fans can sympathize as they’ve seen promising eras like the Stockton to Malone Jazz and the Deron Williams-Carlos Boozer era go up in smoke. Father Time took the life of one Jazz team while tumult and strife between star and coach took the other. Condolences Oklahoma City Thunder fans. The end of a era is brutal. You’re about to experience your first, and it’s hell.

Donovan Mitchell was insane. This will be a game you tell your kids about and they tell their kids about. Donovan Mitchell, a rookie, battling two All-Stars in their prime and looking like the best player on the court. Donovan Mitchell came out of halftime, strapped the Utah Jazz to his back, and carried them to the second round.

There are so many emotions. So many unsung heroes. Alec Burks came off the bench and was a damn hero with Ricky Rubio sidelined for the game. Royce O’Neale played his ass off and while his stat line looks pedestrian, he was a +5 in a game decided by 5 points.

Derrick Favors had 13 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks and was a +18. Joe Ingles had 12 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and two steals. Ingles basically had to give his best Ricky Rubio impression.

Rudy Gobert had 12 points, 13 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 2 steals. Most importantly, he only had 1 foul. The Utah Jazz survived. This rookie-led team got their first playoff series win. We’re witnessing something special and, lucky for us, it continues in Houston.


3rd quarter

Utah Jazz 79 - Oklahoma City Thunder 70

What can you say about Donovan Mitchell? We’ve run out of superlatives. He scored 22 points in the third quarter ALONE. That’s more than the Jazz scored in the 1st quarter and almost more than what Utah scored in the second quarter (23). He has single handedly carried Utah in the second half. He has been a monster. An absolute monster. Utah has a chance to close this out. They have the lead. Now they need one more good quarter.

10:05pm. Donovan Mitchell has scored 10 straight points to start the second half. He’s gone supernova. Iron Spida.


2nd quarter

Utah Jazz 41 - Oklahoma City Thunder 41

For 7 minutes of the second quarter it appeared that Utah had resigned themselves to their fate without Ricky Rubio. Their offense struggled, they made careless turnovers, and Russell Westbrook looked like he had found his groove ... until they didn’t. Utah got their rhythm back from two big Joe Ingles threes. This is the time that we reiterate Utah’s suffocating defense. Against any other team, OKC might be up by 15, maybe even 20 points, but this isn’t any other NBA team. Utah’s elite defense kept them in this game as their offense went full BOBCATS without Ricky Rubio.

Quin Snyder can’t trust Dante Exum, he gave Alec Burks some run, and doesn’t look like he’s going to tempt fate with Raul Neto or David Stockton. Donovan Mitchell better be ready to go the distance tonight. One thing to keep an eye on: free throws. Utah has 10 free throw attempts and is only shooting 40% from the stripe. In a game this close, we could be pointing to those as the difference between a win and a loss.

Can Donovan Mitchell carry Utah?


1st quarter

Utah Jazz 18 - Oklahoma City Thunder 22

The Utah Jazz shot a terrible 38% for the quarter. They have only 3 turnovers which is great, but they lost something more important than the ball that quarter: Ricky Rubio. Ricky Rubio will not return in this game as he has a hamstring injury, something he has been dealing with since All-Star break. The Utah Jazz are going to have to rely upon Dante Exum, Alec Burks, and Raul Neto to get them through this. Utah’s defense has been their savior only allowing the Thunder to shoot 40% for the game, but how long can they hold back the raging river of fury that is Westbrook before enough is enough?


Pregame

8:37pm. The tifo is back.

7:53pm. Indiana is absolutely demolishing the Cleveland Cavaliers. You have to wonder what this means for LeBron James in the offseason—he gone—and Rodney Hood’s pending restricted free agency. Who’s going to take a chance on Rodney Hood? Since that trade to Cleveland he’s been averaging 10.8 points while shooting a lower eFG%. He’s averaging less rebounds, less assists, less steals, and more personal fouls. In the playoffs he’s been a ghost, only averaging 6.4 points a game with only 0.6 rebounds a game. Who’s going to be the team that throws $8-$10M on that? I’m not sure. Sad to see Rodney fall this far.


Game Info

When: 8:30pm MT • Friday, April 27th, 2018

Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena • Salt Lake City, Utah

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.