Midway through the third quarter, the Oklahoma City Thunder began their 19-0 run, fighting back from being down 67-58 to the Utah Jazz which eventually developed into a 77-67 lead with one minute remaining.
Amidst Utah’s well-executed gameplan following a dominant Game 1 by OKC, it appeared as if they would weather the storm and pull away from the Jazz, per usual.
That wasn’t the case, at all. After the Thunder went on their third-quarter run, Utah’s dazzling rookie Donovan Mitchell started heating up to end the third, getting his team back into contending position entering the final quarter by cutting OKC’s lead in half.
In the fourth quarter, Mitchell resembled one Dwyane Wade in his prime, which is scary. Obviously by his style of play and surprisingly for a rookie, his poise. He even got veteran NBA All-Star caliber calls from the officials as well, making OKC’s big three look like the inexperienced players. He was doing everything Russell Westbrook normally does to win a game for his team by attacking the basket, making some and getting to the foul line every other time. He shot five-of-six from the line in crunch time, while shooting four-of-seven from the field and more importantly, under control.
To make things worse for the Thunder, OKC’s offense went almost completely stagnant. After three quarters, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George and Westbrook appeared to be well on their way to 20 point games individually but in the fourth quarter, they went cold scoring just two points collectively. No one for Oklahoma City scored 20 or more points in this game.
“I don’t know. I think we missed. I think we all missed. I don’t really have the answer to what happened or the excuse of why we didn’t make shots. We just didn’t make shots in that fourth quarter.”
Luckily, the Thunder can make adjustments. They are headed to Utah for two games but they are simply the better team in this series. Considering how well Utah played in both Game 1 and Game 2, the Thunder’s chances of making the necessary adjustments to top this Jazz squad are certainly in their favor.
The series is now tied 1-1, how will the Thunder respond?