Secondary players key in Thunder, Jazz series

20 April, 2018, 01:30 | Author: Cassandra Gardner
  • Paul George and his alter ego Playoff P carried the Oklahoma City Thunder to a Game 1 victory over the Utah Jazz. Mandatory Credit USATSI  TBN Media Illustration

"Just relentless" was Snyder's description of Favors, and that was especially true when he ripped away a rebound that led to Donovan Mitchell's drive for bucket that gave the Jazz a six-point lead late in the game. "When we were missing shots he was getting rebounds, I think he had a double-double nearly at the half [note: he had 10 points, 8 rebounds at the half]".

George's 3-point accuracy remained ridiculous in the first half, when he twice was fouled on successful 3-pointers.

And after coming off second-best in his heated match-up with Paul George in Game 1 of the Thunder-Jazz first round playoff series, the Aussie is keen to get back on the court.

The fire from Mitchell was nothing new for the possible Rookie of the Year, who averaged 30.2 points per 36 minutes during fourth quarters this regular season and who entered the day questionable because of a left foot contusion. Rudy Gobert scored 14 points, and Joe Ingles and Jae Crowder each added 13 for the Jazz. Game three is on Saturday.

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"It was definitely a battle keeping him off the boards", Favors said.

Oklahoma City had two chances in the final minute to trim Utah's lead with the Jazz leading 99-95, but Anthony missed three-pointers on back-to-back possessions. Neither George nor Corey Brewer was listed on the Thunder's injury list as of Tuesday evening, a positive sign for each playing being ready for Game 2.

Adams picked up his fourth foul with 6:46 left in the third quarter and the Thunder down 65-58, yet Oklahoma City responded with a run.

For the Thunder, being able to deal with Utah's tough, hard-nosed defense - keyed by Gobert - remains a major point of emphasis. The Thunder held the Jazz to 7 for 23 shooting in the third quarter before Mitchell took over in the fourth. On the defensive end, it's all about slowing Donovan Mitchell and limiting the damage Utah is doing on the offensive glass/in the paint.

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"There's things that we can correct, things that we have to correct, things that we will correct".

George missed 15 of his 21 field goals for the game. He finished with 22 points and made 5 of 8 3s.

It marked the first time in seven April games that he failed to reach the 20-point plateau. Jonas Jerebko scored 10 points in 12:46 as a reserve.

Supporting casts - If Mitchell and/or George fail to show up, the spotlight will be on the supporting players to step up and help carry the load.

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