Utah took the lead late in the second quarter and never looked back. Utah used that and a massive 9-0 run to start the third quarter to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 113-96 on Monday night.
With the victory, Utah takes a commanding 3-1 advantage in the best-of-seven series.
Game 5 is on Wednesday night at the Peake, with Oklahoma City being 0-4 all-time in Game 5s when trailing 3-1.
Russell Westbrook and others were never really able to sustain their hyper level of intensity Oklahoma City took an 8-point lead in the first quarter. However, a lot of fouls and turnovers really gave you the feeling it wouldn’t last.
Oklahoma City lost its third straight in the series, shooting just 39 percent from the field.
As the Thunder built an 38-31 lead in the second quarter, that’s when Utah made their move. They didn’t overwhelm you with the threes but finding Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors for points inside. Royce O’Neal was huge in the comeback.
After Oklahoma City took a 49-47 lead on a Jerami Grant bucket, Joe Ingles, who had missed a handful of wide open threes, finally nailed one, giving Utah their first lead since the first quarter. Oklahoma City would never lead again. Ingles would drain another one, pushing the lead up and out of reach.
Utah led 58-52 at the break.
That’s when Utah blew the game open. The Jazz scored 9-0 points before the Thunder even walked on the court in the second half. Utah made it a 15-point advantage and it really was never in the ballpark after that.
Oklahoma City was able to cut it down to 10 in the third quarter, when Paul George hit a lay up, cutting it down to 70-60 with 7:54 remaining.
The officiating, while no real bearing on the game was inconsistent and saw seven technical fouls and one ejection on Jae Crowder for hitting Steven Adams in the nose. The game was chippy from the start and the officials failed to really get the game under control. Players were knocked around, on both sides, but really seemed to have bothered the Thunder more.
Paul George led Oklahoma City with 32 points on 9-of-21 shooting. He was a poor 2-of-9 from three but finish 12-of-12 from three throw line. Westbrook had 23 points on 7-of-18 shooting, 14 rebounds and only three assists. Raymond Felton had 10 points for the Thunder off the bench.
Game 5 starts at 8:30 p.m. on NBATV and on Fox Sports Oklahoma. If the Thunder win, they’ll go to Salt Lake City for a pivotal Game 6. The starting time is unknown. We’ll have Brady Trantham in arena for Game 5.
Keys to the Game
Utah dictated the pace all night. Oklahoma City couldn’t do much outside of the first 18 minutes of the game. After that, the final 30 minutes, Utah controlled everything. It was quite embarrassing.
Utah had 17 second chance points on 10 offensive rebounds. They out-rebounded the Thunder and really limited the best offensive rebounding team in the regular season to only nine tonight. Adams only had seven rebounds, one on the offensive glass.
Share the ball: F
Westbrook had three assists in the first quarter… he finished with three assists. Oklahoma City… no Russell Westbrook has to share the ball. Oklahoma City cannot win when Westbrook only has three assists. He cannot be that selfish.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!