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.
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.
Donovan Mitchell made 10 shots in a row during that 3rd quarter streak.— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) April 28, 2018
donovan has legit outplayed paul george and carmelo anthony combined this series -- he's gonna be so great to watch for the next 16 years— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) April 28, 2018
Quin Snyder spoke pre-game about how unique Favors and Gobert are as defenders. They just showed why with a pair of monster blocks in consecutive possessions.— Porter Larsen (@Larsen_ESPN) April 28, 2018
To say Donovan Mitchell is having an incredible rookie season is an understatement pic.twitter.com/iVUccMtppT— SB Nation (@SBNation) April 28, 2018
Donovan Mitchell is the 3rd rookie over the last 35 seasons with multiple 30-point games in a series, joining Alonzo Mourning (2 in 1993 1st round) and Michael Jordan (2 in 1985 1st round).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 28, 2018
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.
79-70 Jazz lead after 3Q. Donovan Mitchell had 22 points in the 3rd quarter, but Russell Westbrook had 18. Both were ridiculous. Jazz know no lead is safe. Teams shooting a combined 45 percent from the FT line.— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) April 28, 2018
Westbrook's will in this third quarter. Man. Indomitable— Tony Jones (@tribjazz) April 28, 2018
*opens DONOVAN MITCHELL file*— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) April 28, 2018
*ctrl+F: basketball moves*
100,000,000,000,000 results founds
This Westbrook vs. Mitchell matchup is just phenomenal.— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) April 28, 2018
*inhales deeply*— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) April 28, 2018
DONOVAN MITCHELL pic.twitter.com/2m9pQdX6Cc
Important to note Rudy Gobert has no fouls. Derrick Favors has two.— Michael Gallagher (@MikeSGallagher) April 28, 2018
now wait just a goddamn minute pic.twitter.com/RD57K2YpOX— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) April 28, 2018
25 points on 10-of-14 shooting for Mitchell. If I’m counting right, he has 15 points in the first six minutes of the second half. Put his team up 10 in a close-out game. He’s 21 years old.— Jared Wade (@Jared_Wade) April 28, 2018
Ronnie Price just walked past me— Ryan McDonald (@ryanwmcdonald) April 28, 2018
10:05pm. Donovan Mitchell has scored 10 straight points to start the second half. He’s gone supernova. Iron Spida.
How many points have you scored in the opening minutes of this quarter, Donovan? pic.twitter.com/nu0yLFD0s8— Ryan McDonald (@ryanwmcdonald) April 28, 2018
JAZZ STATUS— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) April 28, 2018
(no iw comments) pic.twitter.com/q2cFvZZ6Wm
"Back the f*** up!"— SB Nation (@SBNation) April 28, 2018
- Russell Westbrook to a heckling fan pic.twitter.com/BAcxhZJstg
YOU BRING THE THUNDER, DONOVAN MITCHELL BRINGS THE LIGHTNING.— “Playoff SLC D” (@slcdunk) April 28, 2018
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?
OKC had momentum and had taken away so much and they just got sloppy like they always do.— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) April 28, 2018
Without Rubio, that’s what this is going to come down to
1. OKC’s sloppiness vs. Utah’s lack of weaponry
2. Russ’ jumper
THATS MY MATH TEACHER— Playoff RGiss (@rgiss11) April 28, 2018
Tie game on a three by Ingles.— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) April 28, 2018
An announcement was just made in the arena about fans blowing whistles, saying they will be ejected.— Royce Young (@royceyoung) April 28, 2018
9 turnovers for the Jazz. Feels like 19, I know.— Kurt Kragthorpe (@tribkurt) April 28, 2018
9 turnovers for the Jazz. Feels like 19, I know.— Kurt Kragthorpe (@tribkurt) April 28, 2018
Rare to see a pass thrown too hard for a pro player pic.twitter.com/kDBOQVBkIM— BBALLBREAKDOWN (@bballbreakdown) April 28, 2018
The Utah Jazz are playing championship level defense with Charlotte Bobcats level offense.— “Playoff SLC D” (@slcdunk) April 28, 2018
Feels like the Jazz offense isn't doing the Jazz defense any favors... hasn't let OKC score for 5 minutes now, but Jazz have only scored 5 points in that stretch themselves.— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) April 28, 2018
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?
So ... we're going to see a lot of Exum. He's got to find his confidence ... FAST. https://t.co/sj1alSSx8c— “Playoff SLC D” (@slcdunk) April 28, 2018
12-0 run by the Thunder - Grant with a three. Jazz are going one on one on switches with Adams but doing it with guys that aren't able to finish the play and it is stifling the offense - Thunder lead it 20-11 3:06 left in 1st quarter— David Locke (@Lockedonsports) April 28, 2018
*points at Favors*— “Playoff SLC D” (@slcdunk) April 28, 2018
"Look at this dude."
"That's not a dude, that's a man."
Jazz getting whatever they want offensively through the first 3 mins.— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) April 28, 2018
Here’s the Jazz intros to give you a sense of volume. pic.twitter.com/p7CpO2V1ya— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) April 28, 2018
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.
Adidas knows we haven’t had a good track record with billboards ... right? https://t.co/SNGSxD9IHB— “Playoff SLC D” (@slcdunk) April 27, 2018
I wrote about Donovan Mitchell, behavioral economics, Sam Hinkie, and why you have to actually watch games start-to-finish to see what makes the Jazz rookie so special. https://t.co/QC1YKmAyVY— Reggie Comma Mike Prada (@MikePradaSBN) April 27, 2018
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
Thabo Sefolosha - knee - out for season
Andre Roberson - knee - out for season
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.