Mitchell sinks OKC late

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – DECEMBER 28: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz puts the Utah Jazz ahead with 7 seconds left in the fourth quarter during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on December 28, 2020 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)

OKLAHOMA CITY—Utah’s Donovan Mitchell scored on a layup with seven seconds remaining as the Utah Jazz came from behind to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 110-109.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had a chance with a layup at the buzzer but it careened off the rim, giving the Jazz the win.

The loss sends Oklahoma City to 1-1 and the last team in the Western Conference to lose.

The Thunder led 95-86 in the fourth after an 8-0 run before Utah used some big shots by Mitchell and Bogan Bogdanovich to go on a 16-5 run and take the lead from the Thunder.

Bogdanovich scored 23 points and Mike Conley added 20 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for the Jazz, who ended a 17-game losing streak in regular season road games against the Thunder, including games in the NBA’s Orlando bubble last season.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who hit a game-winning shot in the Thunder’s season-opening win in Charlotte, missed a driving layup in heavy traffic at the buzzer. He had 23 points and seven assists, while Luguentz Dort led the Thunder with a career-high 26 points.

Lu Dort, who finished with a career high of 26 points, nailed a 3-pointer with 1:04 remaining to give Oklahoma City the 109-108 lead.

The Thunder led 52-49 at the break.

Oklahoma City start the game on fire from three, hitting their first five from beyond the arc and built a 17-5 lead on a Dort three with 6:56 remaining in the opening quarter.

They would come back down to earth, missing seven of their next eight shots as Utah found themselves back in the game.

Oklahoma City never trailed by more than five in the game and Dort’s defense caused Mitchell trouble for a majority of the game, despite him scoring 12 points in the fourth quarter.

It was the first game in Oklahoma City March 11, when Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. The cancellation led to the cancellation of most sporting leagues for a considerable amount of time.

SGA finished with 23 points in the game, 16 coming in the second half. He also had seven assists and three rebounds in the loss.

Oklahoma City will get right back on it as they host the unbeaten Orlando Magic on Tuesday night for the second night of a back-to-back. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Fox Sports Oklahoma.

Keys to the Game

Defend the paint: B+
Utah didn’t really have their way in the paint and Al Horford and Co. were a real reason for that. Gobert didn’t have the dominant game you’d expect him to have with the lack of size Oklahoma City is dealing with.

Fast Break: F
Oklahoma City might have forced a handful of turnovers (16) but they only turned that into six points on the night. Utah did a good job of getting back into transition but the Thunder never found themselves taking advantage of Utah’s mistakes.

Bench improvement: C
The bench once again showed they are lacking in a lot of ways. While Aleksej Pokusevski played better, still didn’t score, but moved well without the ball and Theo Maledon wasn’t terrible, the bench really needs someone to lead them and they don’t have that right now. I’m not calling Mike Muscala a bench leader.

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