Thunder salvage season with improbable Game 5 comeback
Apr 27, 2018, 01:03
James Harden scored half of Houston's 30 points in the third quarter, one game after providing 22 in Houston's 50-point third quarter in Game 4. Give me Utah to win and advance to the second round. Paul George and Westbrook were the only two OKC players reaching double-digits in points in game five, and they will likely need more secondary scoring to have a chance in this series. Utah had the game/the series won and OKC stole it right back. Though an advancement to the second round for a moment seemed certain, now one can't help but wonder if it's in jeopardy to some degree. The Thunder couldn't do it, and they lost by 17.
For the first time in the series, the home team was able to get to the rim nearly at will as the Jazz's defensive anchor Rudy Gobert was in foul trouble for much of the game, which also proved to be a decisive factor.
As tough of a loss as this is, the Jazz are confident they will be able to bounce back at home in Game 6 Friday night.
Melo discusses the incident after the game: "My competitive nature just took over at that point, wanting to be a part of that atmosphere". But you still have to like the confidence if you're a Jazz fan. Of all the questions, tactical and narrative, that surround a fascinating Game 6, one stands out above the others: will this incredible victory galvanize the Thunder? Jazz' leading scorer Donovan Mitchell wasn't at his best in the defeat, netting 23 points on a 1 for 7 mark from beyond the arc.
We're going to remember this game for a long time, no matter what happens the rest of this series; it was the rare kind of treat that the NBA Playoffs provide every few years.
The lineup that has looked the best for Oklahoma City does not include Anthony.
The lineup with Russell Westbrook, Alex Abrines, Paul George, Jerami Grant and Steven Adams has played a total of 10 minutes together during the postseason. Somehow, they neglected to issue a technical on Westbrook despite the apparent violation of National Basketball Association rules (just ask Amar'e Stoudemire). Delon Wright was fantastic for Toronto in the fourth quarter of Game 5 against Washington, and the Raptors held serve by beating the Wizards to reclaim the lead in their series. The Thunder have life and will come in believing they can pick up where they left off to close Game 5.
This took place as the Jazz flatlined in the last two quarters, surprisingly coming after a shutdown second quarter, where they limited the Thunder to 12 points. As such, the stage is set for this game to be an absolute thriller.
He attacked the rim relentlessly once Gobert, who had deterred the Thunder from getting to the basket for much of the series, subbed out.
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