October 31, 2010. That’s the last time the Utah Jazz defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road. Unfortunately tonight was no different. Right from the tip this game felt like a playoff atmosphere. You can tell there’s a history between them. And this could very well be a first or second round matchup this postseason as well.
The first quarter was very entertaining basketball. It was back and forth with both teams taking swings. Donovan Mitchell was the best player on the court in the quarter with 14 points and a perfect 5/5 from the floor including 2 threes. After 1 the score was close 35-34 for OKC.
Donovan got started off especially quick tonight:
how many seconds does Don need to get the first bucket? pic.twitter.com/mGTaEAB9dz— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) February 23, 2019
Derrick Favors is blasting tonight!! His baseline cuts and dunks are becoming as regular as that Haywad lob used to be. I feel like 2-3 times a game we see him make that move for an easy 2. Big shoutout to Favs tonight for an incredibly efficient performance. He would end the game with 24 points and 11 rebounds. I love him on the Jazz, but sometimes I wonder what he would look like as with an increased role as a starting center.
Seeing Thabo Sefolosha getting some regular minutes was good to see. The minutes themselves were not pretty, but he could be a useful player down the home stretch of the season. Russell Westbrook got hot and took the Thunder to a 9 point lead heading into the half.
Second half here we come. Man... Donovan Mitchell’s shooting numbers look way worse than they really are. I swear like 3 times a game he’ll get a pass with 5 seconds left on the shot clock and a prayer that he can make something out of nothing.
Also, Westbrook’s antics can be difficult for me to watch at times. I really do not look forward to seeing this team again in the playoffs. Anyways, a barrage of 3’s brought the Jazz back ahead. And wow if this Mitchell shows up consistently the Jazz are going to be a terrifying team to play in the playoffs. Jazz took the quarter 38-27 to take momentum into the 4th. Also, Donovan is a point guard:
My heart could hardly manage that 4th quarter. Wow was that some intense basketball!! Maybe I’m a bad fan, but when I put my girls down for bed I fully expected the Jazz to have given up the lead. I cam back and they were up 5, then quickly pushed it to 10. Unfortunately the Thunder have 2 of the best players in the league in Westbrook and Paul George and it showed. Those two made some huge plays down the stretch.
Fortunately for us, we have Donovan Mitchell. He made some huge plays in the last few minutes. And how about that Ricky Rubio 3 with about 40 seconds left. That kind of had a similar feeling as that 3 last year when he flipped the switch. Could we see that this year as well?
FREE BASKETBALL EVERYONE! I’m shaking from the end of that quarter. Quin not calling a timeout is consistent with how he handles end of game situations and it’s definitely worked out in the past. Just ask Joe Johnson and the LA Clippers. In this case, however, I wish he had. Donovan was locked up by PG in the corner, and while he got away from him that wasn’t the look you’d hope for at the end of a game.
Two quick dunks in OT by RRRUUUUUDDDDYYY gave the Jazz a quick 4 point lead. Paul George responded with a couple buckets of his own and OT was following the same pattern as the rest of the game had.
When Russell Westbrook fouled out I was almost disappointed (big time defensive play by Jae Crowder by the way). This is usually the time of a game when he tried to take over and takes bad shots. Sure enough the Thunder moved the ball well and got a wide open corner three to take a 2 point lead with under a minute to go.
RUDY!!!! Big tip in to tie it up and a block on the other end. 17 seconds left and 7 on the shot clock. Thunder with the ball and the game tied... Joe plays fantastic defense and forces a poor shot by PG! But Donovan’s shot on the other end is a little long. Second overtime it is. I can’t do this anymore.
Ricky Rubio’s 2OT turnovers right there. Yikes.... He’s acting like he doesn’t even want to be on the court right now. And Donovan looks gassed. Boy do the Jazz need to find him some offensive help in the summer. It’s just not fair to ask this much of him so often. By the way, I’m pretty sure Rudy has a better free throw percentage than Russ.
Wow Paul George had to shoot that floater to the moon to make it over Gobert. Well defended. What a crappy way to lose...
Lines of the Night:
Derrick Favors - 24 points / 11 rebounds / 3 blocks
Rudy Gobert - 26 points / 16 rebounds / 3 blocks
Donovan Mitchell - 38 points / 4 rebounds / 5 assists