Author - Chuck Chaney

Thunder eliminated by Utah 96-91

Russell Westbrook could’ve literally pulled out his own heart and laid it on the court. That would be the only way to describe the reigning MVP’s performance on Friday night.

It wasn’t enough.

Russell Westbrook scored 46 points and it wasn’t enough as the rest of the “Big Three” were left in a layover in Denver. Paul George was fouled on a three by Rudy Gobert with 10.9 seconds remaining but it was deemed a no call. Utah iced teh game, holding on 96-91.

Carmelo Anthony and George combined for 12 points on 5-of-23 and 0-of-6 from three. George was abysmal, 2-of-16 from the field, second worst shooting performance of his playoff career and it happened when Oklahoma City needed him the most. In fact, George had more turnovers (6) than he did points (5).

George was passive, giving up easy shots to teammates with lesser talent. Numerous times in the third and fourth quarter, George deferred to Raymond Felton of all people.

Despite the poor performance, it was Westbrook who put the team on his back. He attacked the rim and got to the rim. He jacked up ill-advised three-pointers that went in like flames on NBA Jam. Without Westbrook’s performance in Game 6, Oklahoma City gets blown out.

Utah took an 86-73 lead with 7:04 left in regulation. Westbrook hit a pull up jumper and then found Jerami Grant in the corner for a three-pointer, cutting the deficit to seven. Raymond Felton continued the run with a big three-pointer, bringing Oklahoma City to within four. Westbrook jacked up a huge three with 1:28 remaining to bring Oklahoma City within one. That’s when the wild time happened.

The Thunder took five shots in a span of 33 seconds, each rimming out and being tipped out and back to another Thunder player by an array of players. Westbrook missed three of the five shots. Then, after a review, George was contacted by Gobert but no call.

Westbrook finished with 46 points on 18-of-43 and 7-of-19 from three, with 10 rebounds and five assists. Westbrook scored 31 points in the second half. Westbrook set a new franchise playoff record in 3-point attempts for Game (19), half (15) and quarter (8). Westbrook also set a franchise record for makes in a half (6).

Adams had 19 points and 16 rebounds.

All of this happened because Donovan Mitchell, a superb rookie, went bananas in the third quarter. He scored 22 of his 38 points in third quarter before getting into foul trouble. Utah outscored Oklahoma City by nine in the eight in the court and it really put the Thunder behind the eight-ball, causing the Thunder to see a 78-70 deficit going into the fourth.

The Thunder led 35-26 in the third quarter, their largest of the game and it appeared Oklahoma City would be in control going into halftime. However, Utah closed the quarter on a 15-6 run as it was tied 41-all at the break.

Oklahoma City’s season ends 48-34 and being eliminated 4-2 in the first round. It’s the second straight season the Thunder were eliminated in the first half.

Keys to the Game

Second quarter: C

Utah outscored the Thunder by four in the quarter and really closed strong. Oklahoma City seemed to have all of the momentum but Utah found their way back into the game. The Thunder needed to close the quarter strong but didn’t. It was deja vu of Games 2-4.

Second chance scoring: C

The Thunder scored 15 second chance points. Utah outscored Oklahoma City 19-15 on the second chance points. It’s easily the most the Thunder scored in a loss this series. However, they gave up 10 of Utah’s 19 in the second half. Oklahoma City seemed to struggle on the boards in the second half, despite winning the rebounding battle.

Big Three: F

Outside of Russell Westbrook, the Big Three should no longer have that title. Oklahoma City’s supporting cast for Westbrook was abysmal. I hate the Big Three name.

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Thunder Playoff Game Day No. 6: at Utah Jazz

Utah leads series 3-2

Wednesday, April 27 :: 9:30 p.m. CST :: Vivint Smart Home Arena (19,911)
TV Coverage: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27)
TV Coverage: ESPN (DirectTV 206, Cox 29, HD 1300, Tulsa Cox HD 1025)
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 6½-point underdogs. The over/under is 207.
Online StreamFS OK | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Jazz: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • With a historic comeback in Game 5, the Oklahoma City Thunder set their sights on leveling the series tonight.
  • With a victory, Oklahoma City will force the fourth Game 7 in franchise history. Their last Game 7 came against the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 Western Conference Finals.
  • There were a lot of Thunder digits on the Game 5 victory
  • Oklahoma City is 5-4 all-time in Game 6s. When Game 6 is on the road, the Thunder are 4-1.
  • It’s the first time the Thunder have reached a Game 6 after trailing 3-1.
  • Utah is 2-2 in Game 6s since 2001, including blowing a 3-2 lead last season to the LA Clippers.

FOLLOWING THE ACTION

  • You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
  • Brian Davis and Michael Cage call the game on the Thunder’s flagship station, Fox Sports Oklahoma. You can watch the game there, catch it on NBA League Pass, or use the Fox Sports App (If you’re in Oklahoma).
  • Tonight’s game is on ESPN for the national broadcast. It’s unknown who the broadcast team will be.

THUNDER INJURY REPORT

  • Andre Roberson (ruptured patellar tendon) is out for the season.

JAZZ INJURY REPORT

  • Thabo Sefolosha (knee) is out.



Three Keys to the Game

Second Quarter

Utah has outscored the Thunder by six, 12 and 13 points in three Jazz victories. Oklahoma City outscored Utah by six in their lone win. While this seems arbitrary, the point differentials mean a halftime lead in every single game. The team who leads at halftime is 4-0 in this series. That’s on par with regular season numbers. Utah was 11-26 when trailing at half and the Thunder were 11-21. Thunder were 36-10 and Utah was 35-8 when leading at the break, respectively.

Second chance scoring

This might as well be rebounding, too. They go hand-in-hand. The Thunder are only averaging 8.4 offensive rebounds per game in this series. That would put them 28th in the NBA in the regular season. They averaged 12.5 offensive rebounds per game in the regular season, first in the NBA. Something has to change. In wins, Oklahoma City is averaging 19.5 second chance points and only 9.7 second chance points per game in losses.

Big Three

When your season comes down to one game, it’s up to your “superstars” to figure it out. There hasn’t been a game where everyone is on the same page. There hasn’t been a moment where you were just overwhelmed with their ability because they were just dominating, even in Game 1. Two of the three exploded in Game 5. Is there another opportunity to do it in Game 6? Oklahoma City needs all three to step up and perform the way they can.

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For once, the comeback was on Oklahoma City’s side

There have been many meltdowns in Thunder history and some of the biggest ones were by the Thunder.

We all know of the Warriors meltdown in 2016. Oklahoma City led by as many as 13, but felt like 23. Klay Thompson went bananas and the Thunder were forced into a Game 6.

In many ways, last night was the opposite of that. Oklahoma City made the comeback and all seemed right. It was almost the monkey off the Thunder’s back.

Here are all of the greatest comebacks and collapses in the playoffs by 15 or more with the Thunder (because of the 15-point mark, the Warriors loss was not added).

Collapses

2017 first round, Game 2: Houston (15)

OKC 109
HOU 113
April 19, 2017

This collapse is one of those that’s not really a collapse but fits within the arbitrary parameters we’ve chosen. Oklahoma City went up 28-13 on the Rockets with 3:23 left in the first quarter. The Thunder held their own in double digits for a good portion of the game. The Thunder held a 12-point lead late into the third but the bench fell through and Houston had the lead less than four minutes into the fourth and the rest is history.

2012 NBA Finals, Game 4 – Miami (17)

OKC 99
MIA 104
June 19, 2012

This, like the previous meltdown, happened in the first quarter. This is the second real playoff meltdown. This one unfortunately came in the NBA Finals. Oklahoma City jumped up 27-12 with 2:28 on a Nick Collison bucket. Oklahoma City led 33-16 with about 20 seconds to go in the first but Miami went on a 15-0 run to pull within 33-32 with 8:30 left in the second. Oklahoma City was able to hold off the Heat until middle of the third. However, Miami took the lead and would never trail again.

2013 second round, Game 4 – Grizzlies (17)

OKC   97
MEM 103
OT – May 13, 2013

A Russell Westbrook-less Thunder team, trailed 2-1 in a Memphis showdown. They took a 43-26 lead mid-second quarter and it appeared the Thunder were on their way. However, the Grizzlies’ comeback was on the back on a 23-9 run. It wasn’t until the end of the third quarter that we saw Memphis come back and finally take the lead. No one led by more than three in the final 10 minutes of regulation, with the leads going back and forth. Oklahoma City never led in overtime.

2014 second round, Game 4 – Clippers (22)

OKC 99
LAC 101
May 11, 2014

This is the largest blown playoff lead in Thunder history. A 22-point loss to the Chris Paul and the LA Clippers. This was the first in three straight games with double-digit blown leads. Luckily, Oklahoma City was on the winning side on the other two. If you told me though, Oklahoma City was going to take a 29-7 lead in the playoffs, I would’ve guaranteed a Thunder victory. That wasn’t the case this night. Oklahoma City’s 16-point lead in the fourth quarter was evaporated

2011 Western Conference Finals, Game 4 – Dallas (15)

DAL  112
OKC 105
OT – May 23, 2011

This one… this one is one of the more painful. Kevin Durant hit a jumper and Oklahoma City went up by 15 with 5:06 left in the fourth quarter. It seemed Oklahoma City was going to equalize the series. Oklahoma City went 1-of-9 down the stretch, letting Dallas outscore the Thunder 17-2 to force overtime. Durant missed a 30-footer to force overtime. I still have nightmares of this game.

Comebacks

2014 second round, Game 5 – Clippers (15)

LAC 104
OKC 105

May 13, 2014

Remember this photo? Yeah, from that game. Westbrook draining three free throws with 6.4 seconds left while Durant cannot stomach to watch them go through the net. Oklahoma City overcame a 15-point deficit, which was the patented first quarter deficit. What made this game so special was the Thunder’s ability to overcome a 101-94 deficit with 49 seconds remaining. Durant hit a three. Clippers missed a jumper. Westbrook stole a pass from Chris Paul. Then, Paul fouled Westbrook from three, hit hit all three with 6.4 seconds left to win the game. LA never got a shot off due to fantastic Thunder defense.

2014 second round, Game 6 – Clippers (16)

OKC 104
LAC   98
May 15, 2014

Durant was once a vital member of this team and showed out, scoring 39 points and pulling down 16 rebounds. LA grabbed a 16-point lead a couple of times in the first half with 7:28 left in the first half. The Thunder came back with a 13-2 run, pulling within five. Though, LA held a 7-point lead with 2:53 left in the third. Oklahoma City with the combination of Durant and Westbrook, fueled Oklahoma City’s comeback. A 13-4 that bled into the fourth quarter gave Oklahoma City lead for good. Oklahoma City pushed their lead to as many as 11 in the final minutes of the fourth.

2012 Western Conference Finals, Game 6 – Spurs (18)

SA     99
OKC 107
June 6, 2012

Westbrook and Durant combined for 33 second half points as Oklahoma City overcame an 18-point deficit. San Antonio led throughout the first half by double digits. San Antonio led by double digits for half of the game. Oklahoma City, powered by their two all-stars fueled a comeback and a march onto their first ever NBA Finals. San Antonio had no answer for either players shots. It was a nice change of pace with how the series started, the Thunder falling back 2-0.

2011 second round, Game 4 – Memphis (18)

OKC 133
MEM 123
3OT – May 9, 2011

One of the greatest games in Thunder history. Oklahoma City overcame an 18-point deficit and avoided a 3-1 series hole. Memphis took an 18-point lead in the second quarter, OJ Mayo (!!) put them up by 18. The thunder had pulled with four by halftime. Oklahoma City took their first lead in the second half but Mike Conley hit a big three, sending the game into the first overtime. Oklahoma City blew multiple seven-point leads. In the first overtime, it was Greivis Vasquez who naield a three to tie it up. Durant bricked a chance on a game winner, sending it to a second overtime. Westbrook tied the game up with 30 seconds to go but both teams combined for four misses, sending it to a third overtime. That’s where Oklahoma City took over. Durant hit a jumper with 30 seconds left to put Oklahoma City up by eight. Dequan Cook sank free throws to give OKC a 10-point victory.

2018 first round, Game 5 – Utah (25)

Utah 99
OKC 107
April 25, 2018

You saw it. It was tied for the largest second half comeback in NBA playoff history. It was the fourth largest comeback in NBA playoff history. Oklahoma City only had one turnover once they started their comeback, having to be nearly perfect to get the victory and live to fight another day.

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Jazz Meltdown! 4.25.18

The Oklahoma City Thunder made a historic comeback and sent their first round series with the Utah Jazz back to Salt Lake City for Game 6. Jazz fants went from cocky, making Hamilton the Musical jokes, to melting down with all of the meltdowns. They gave Westbrook actual credit. That’s weird. Enjoy!

  • This game is gravy.
  • Tonight is the Crowder game
  • Calling this right now. Mitchell goes for 40+. His 3 point shot will be fire tonight.
  • I can’t believe I am saying this, but I have Hamilton tickets for tonight and the only thing I am thinking about is the Jazz!
  • Hamilton is the ****.
  • THOMAS JEFFERSON’S COMIN HOME
  • Donovan > Jefferson
  • I am predicting a big win for Alexander Hamilton in tonight’s duel vs. Aaron Burr. No spoilers if you know how this turns out!
  • Brewer is a b**** a** roach
  • Pansy P with the fluke basket
  • I can tell right now that Thunder will play much better they did the last two games.
  • Billy just took Carmelo out… not fair put him back.
  • Crowder with the steal chair to his haters
  • Crowder is Larry Bird
  • Holy ****. Jae Crowder with the insane spark off the bench.
  • This game feels like a Jazz win. We are moving, rotating and hitting open 3s.
  • Dante slipped on Fatman Felton’s butter sweat
  • Joe Ingles giving pushoff P a Pushoff and hitting a 3 is the highlight of the series LOL
  • When Fatman Felton runs the floor Thunders
  • Stupid OKC fans dumb punks
  • I missed it, what happened?
  • Nothing really, I just hate them
  • Felton so fat he didnt even feel that he was pushin Exum out of bounds with his belly.
  • Get your Westbrick shot out of there Rudy molested you
  • Thunder arena sounds best silent,
  • kicking their assssss
  • Westbrick is not smart enough to even see what the problem is.
  • A tech on OKC. This is fun.
  • How many shots did Westbrook jack up? Holy ****.
  • I really hate Westbrick’s face reminds me of a kermit the frog on crack
  • OKC is incredibly dumb… can’t tell how much is players and how much is coach.
  • The way the crowd is acting I feel like I’m watching a game in early January – very low energy.
  • Gobert just destroyed Westbrick’s career. I mean destroyed whatever is left of it. He can still do a muppets movie as a 3d crack head Kermit the Frog
  • Time for OKC to start with the frustration fouls and starting fights
  • What is Crymelo postseason record against us… 3-8 now?
  • We’re up by 25 on a team that has quit.
  • OKC just doesn’t want it. Don’t let them think they do.
  • Personally I would love it if the arena emptied before the 8 minute mark in the 4th.
  • Westbrick finally shows up.
  • Don’t do this Jazz… don’t give them one damned breathe of air.
  • Down 18 stupid okc fans suck at match think they are down by a bucket
  • Westbrook hits 2 though shots. He’s now going to force 6 more in 3 minutes.
  • Let’s push this thing to 30, then we can relax
  • Keep your foot on their throat Jazz
  • damn looks like jazz got this
  • Jesus. So much for them laying down after being down 25
  • Okc will run out of gas.
  • This come back will be short lived
  • Adam Silver doing some wwe **** now
  • Jazz are completely falling apart.
  • What the actual **** i
  • whats happening. Our offense is awful
  • One of the biggest choke jobs in playoff history.
  • **** the NBA and **** NBATV. Why can’t I watch this **** on national TV. ****
  • I’m getting worried.
  • 25 point lead gone just like that.
  • Ingles gonna give okc a kangaroo kick
  • I’m gonna be in an awful mood if this continues
  • Son of a….
  • Wtf Are we watching
  • What an explosion from Westbrook.
  • One of the craziest quarters of basketball I’ve ever seen.
  • I don’t have a good feeling about this.
  • If your gonna give up a 25 point lead at least take a little more time to do it.
  • Give Westbrook some credit. Hell of a quarter from him.
  • I can only hope Westbrook is outta gas….but he’s an mvp…
  • seriously falling apart. no composure
  • Now when we win it will merely crush Westbrook’s will even further. So do not despair.
  • That’s it I’m done. I’m to frustrated with this ******** officiating. Wife is pissed because I’m yelling. Calling it a night before I end up in the dog house
  • Westbrick ain’t nothing, we got this.
  • Do not blame refs. No single lineup of NBA players should blow a lead that big that fast.
  • Not sure if I’ve ever seen a jazz team meltdown like this.
  • We have shat the bed.
  • If the Jazz lose I’m going to be worried about the momentum for Thunder in game 6 and 7.
  • So who were all the people on here earlier today saying they wanted Westbrook to play this game? Good call guys…
  • Game over. Jazz down and can’t stop Westbrook.
  • Let’s leave Westbrook unguarded so he can hit mid-range jumpers.
  • Terrible! I can’t get how you lead by 25 and blow it. If they lose this series. This will go down as the biggest let down in Jazz franchise history.
  • OKC vs Houston should be fun to watch
  • Absolutely unbelievably horrible performance.
  • Championship teams don’t blow 25 pt leads.
  • Our worst nightmare just happened. We let Westbrook find himself and this series just shifted.
  • I have a friend Chris who texted me saying we murdered them… and they immediately came back… I have informed him that he is no longer my friend and I am going to his house now to lay an upper decker in every toilet in his house.
  • DM finally looked a little shell shocked too…
  • Top three most pathetic game in Jazz history.
  • Wouldn’t be right the way this season has been to not have the Jazz set another record of some kind.
  • gonna long ****ing 48 hours
  • I was yelling so much I think I’m getting a divorce.
  • We ain’t coming back.
  • Guys seriously I think that game gave me cancer.
  • Surprised by OKC not giving up when they were dead in the water. Props
  • We got Westbrooked.
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Thunder Playoff Digits: Comeback for the ages

The Oklahoma City Thunder made a historic comeback and sent their first round series with the Utah Jazz back to Salt Lake City for Game 6. Here are a few numbers to the game that stuck out to me and maybe affected the game:

25

Oklahoma City’s 25-point comeback is the fifth largest comeback in NBA history. It’s tied for the largest second half comeback in NBA history.

0

This was the 2,556th time over the last 20 seasons – regular season and playoffs – that a team trailed by 25 or more points at some point in the third quarter. It’s the first time that a team did that and was not trailing entering the fourth quarter.

33

Russell Westbrook scored 33 points over the game’s final 20:32. He outscored Utah 33-28 over that stretch.

61

Oklahoma City outscored Utah 61-28 over the final 20:32. Paul George and Westbrook assisted or scored on all 61 points.

1

During their comeback over the final 21 minutes of the game, the Thunder only had one turnover. They finished with eight for the game.

15

Oklahoma City trailed by 15 at halftime.

36.4

Utah’s shooting percentage in the second half, aided by a Thunder defensive effort that forced 5-of-22 three-point shooting.

18

Alex Abrines was a game high plus-18 in 24 games minutes. While he only scored three points, his defensive presence was super impactful.

79

Westbrook (45) and George (34) combined for 79 points, the most by a duo in Thunder/SuperSonics playoff history.

40-16

Oklahoma City outscored Utah 40-16 with Carmelo Anthony on the bench in the second half.

20

Westbrook scored 20 points, tying his career high for points in a playoff quarter.

5

Oklahoma City was able to get Utah’s bigs, Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors, into foul trouble. They both finished the game with five fouls.

6

Game 6 is on Saturday. Oklahoma City pulled a big one out of their backsides and will live to fight another day.

 

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Thunder complete historic comeback

25 points. It seemed insurmountable. Russell Westbrook had other things in mind.

Westbrook, the 2016-17 NBA’s Most Valuable Player, outscored the Utah Jazz 33-28 en route to the Oklahoma City Thunder finding a way to save their season.

“A 25-point lead, a 20-point in the NBA is not safe,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. “Especially when you got two guys like Russell and Paul George that can do what they did.”

Westbrook’s heroics sends Oklahoma City to Utah in a Game 6 on Friday night with a 107-99 win.

Utah leads the series 3-2. It’s the first win in franchise history when trailing 3-1.

Oklahoma City trailed by 15 at halftime and it appeared the season was over. When the Jazz came out and threw some more haymakers, putting Oklahoma City down 25 with 8:32 the meltdown on social media and in living rooms across this great state commenced.

Russell Westbrook had other ideas in mind.

Westbrook came out of a timeout, nailed two big threes. Those threes, reminiscent of his MVP season, dagger threes. Momentum building shots that organically injected energy into the crowd. That fueled the Thunder’s comeback.

Westbrook then found George, who cut to the rim for a lay up. Westbrook came back with back-to-back buckets. In the blink of an eye, the Thunder cut the deficit down to 13 with 5:08 remaining. Everyone had hope again.

The comeback was complete when Westbrook rose in to heights of Loud City and drained a three, leveling the game at 78-all to end the third quarter.

“I think tonight obviously, with the magnitude of the game and the excitement to come back, we played off each other very, very well,” Westbrook said. “Made big plays. Paul made big plays down the stretch, stayed in attack mode, and it was good tonight.”

Throughout a large part of the run, Carmelo Anthony sat on the bench. While the Thunder took the lead right in the early moments of the fourth quarter, Anthony sat. He sat as the Thunder went on a 40-16 run. Not a typo. When Anthony finally re-entered at the 7:58 mark of the fourth, Oklahoma City clinged to a one-lead.

Utah regained the lead at 91-90 with 6:36 but Westbrook nailed another three. That was followed by an Alex Abrines three-pointer, putting Oklahoma City up 96-91.

A lot of the comeback was done without the big men of Utah. Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors both had five fouls and were non-existent in the second half after being so important in the first half.

“We talked a lot better,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said. “We saw things coming. We just did things at a better level. That’s been our challenge.”

Over the game’s final 20 minutes and 32 seconds, Westbrook and George assisted or scored on all 61 points as the Thunder outscored Utah 61-28 over that stretch. Westbrook scored 33 points over that time frame, outscoring Utah by five.

Westbrook finished with 45 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists. George finished with 34 points, eight rebounds and two steals. No other Thunder player would score more than seven points (Anthony). Steven adams finished six points and six rebounds. Abrines finished a game high plus-18 for the Thunder.

Utah hit seven threes in the first quarter and the Thunder were content as they trailed by only five. However, the Jazz took a 56-41 lead into the break.

“All pride,” George said. “We’re not gonna lose here. This crowd, Oklahoma. They didn’t quit on us, didn’t die on us. We felt them. That energy was unbelievable.”

Game 6 is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. on Friday night. The late tip-off is due to those on the East coast tipping off before. That game will be on ESPN. If the Thunder win, a decisive Game 7 will be on Sunday, April 29. The time for that game has yet to be determined. It has a lot to do with the Toronto-Washington and Cleveland-Indiana series. If they go to Game 7s, Oklahoma City could see a very late tip-off again.

Three Keys to the Game

Second Quarter: F

In a quarter that was so key in previous games, was almost the dagger in the Thunder’s heart again. But, it was the Thunder’s third quarter which turned the tide.

Second chance scoring: A+

Oklahoma City scored 20 second chance points tonight. They had scored only 21 points in the previous three games. That’s huge. When they can grab offensive board and put the shots back up, they’re obviously scoring more but they’re giving themselves extra opportunities and limiting what Utah can do offensively.

Big Three: A+

This is an A+ without even Anthony being considered. Russell Westbrook was amazing. Paul George was out of this world. Both players played all 24 minutes in the second half and despite being tired gave everything to the Thunder and this season. They’ll need that a few more times.

 

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Thunder Playoff Game Day No. 5: vs. Utah Jazz

Utah leads series 3-1

Wednesday, April 25 :: 8:30 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
TV Coverage: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27)
TV Coverage: NBATV
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 2½-point favorites. The over/under is 207½.
Online StreamFS OK | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Jazz: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder’s season comes down to this, trailing 3-1 to the fifth-seeded Utah Jazz, the Thunder have to get a victory to keep their season alive.
  • Oklahoma City is 0-4 all-time in Game 5s when they trail a series 3-1. They’ve lost one of those Game 5s at home, a 2013 series loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. (the Westbrook knee injury playoff years).
  • The Jazz beat the Thunder 113-96 on Monday night, outscoring Oklahoma CIty 86-59 over the final 33:35 of the game.
  • Russell Westbrook was fined $10,000 and given a technical foul for his part in the altercation with Rudy Gobert.

FOLLOWING THE ACTION

  • You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
  • Brian Davis and Michael Cage call the game on the Thunder’s flagship station, Fox Sports Oklahoma. You can watch the game there, catch it on NBA League Pass, or use the Fox Sports App (If you’re in Oklahoma).
  • Tonight’s game is on NBATV for the national broadcast. It’s unknown who the broadcast team will be.

THUNDER INJURY REPORT

  • Andre Roberson (ruptured patellar tendon) is out for the season.

JAZZ INJURY REPORT

  • Thabo Sefolosha (knee) is out.



Three Keys to the Game

Second Quarter

Utah has outscored the Thunder by six, 12 and 13 points in three Jazz victories. Oklahoma City outscored Utah by six in their lone win. While this seems arbitrary, the point differentials mean a halftime lead in every single game. The team who leads at halftime is 4-0 in this series. That’s on par with regular season numbers. Utah was 11-26 when trailing at half and the Thunder were 11-21. Thunder were 36-10 and Utah was 35-8 when leading at the break, respectively.

Second chance scoring

This might as well be rebounding, too. They go hand-in-hand. The Thunder are only averaging 9.0 offensive rebounds per game in this series. That would put them 27th in the NBA in the regular season. They averaged 12.5 offensive rebounds per game in the regular season, first in the NBA. Something has to change. In their only win, Oklahoma City scored 19 second chance points. They scored 21 in their three losses.

Big Three

When your season comes down to one game, it’s up to your “superstars” to figure it out. There hasn’t been a game where everyone is on the same page. There hasn’t been a moment where you were just overwhelmed with their ability because they were just dominating, even in Game 1. Oklahoma City needs all three to step up and perform the way they can. They need to “flip the switch.” Which is their favorite saying.

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NBA apparently reviewing if Russell Westbrook should be suspended for Game 5

It may be nothing but apparently the NBA is reviewing whether or not Russell Westbrook stepped on the court with or without the official’s permission in the moments where Westbrook and Rudy Gobert exchanged words.

During the exchange, Gobert was hit with a technical as he was upset already by Westbrook and the shot from Raymond Felton on the foul.

According to Andy Larsen of KSL.com:

A pool reporter request to the game officials to ask them about the play was initiated, but the NBA indicated that the officials wouldn’t comment on the matter because it would be reviewed by the league’s disciplinary committee.

This isn’t high school. Players rarely come on the court without official’s approval. Especially with the NBA’s rule on leaving the bench being an automatic suspension, it would be highly unlikely Westbrook would step on the court without being told to do so.

If the NBA reviews and finds out Westbrook stepped on the court and had words with Gobert, Westbrook would be suspended for Game 5. Which would be an absolute nightmare for Thunder fans. Being without the MVP for potentially their final game fo the season.

It would be the epitome of the season.

The NBA is most likely going to review the video and determine nothing happened with Westbrook and this will be an afterthought.

If you see the video, Westbrook is near half court when the interaction between and Gobert. So, I seriously doubt Westbrook rushed out to half court to approach Gobert. Though, we only have this vide and the NBA has many more angles. There were three play-by-play sets and three sets of cameras. So, they may be able to make more of a determination on what would happen.

The NBA will most likely only say something if Westbrook is suspended. If nothing happened, we’re probably not going to hear that.

Game 5 is set for 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25 at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The game will be on Fox Sports Oklahoma and on NBATV.

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POLL: Do you think OKC wins Game 5?

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Thunder face elimination with 113-96 loss

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

Pace: F

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.

Rebounding: F

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.

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