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Utah Jazz

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Double OT thriller stings in OKC

David Locke

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SUMMARY: In one of the great basketball games of the year the Jazz fall in double overtime to the Oklahoma City Thunder when Paul George hits a remarkable floater over Rudy Gobert in double overtime.
• This was truly an incredible display of NBA basketball. Wow. The energy level was at a peak all game. The grit from both sides was remarkable. The stars made play after play. The complimentary players came up with mammoth moments. It was an insane battle of two teams playing at their highest level.

• This loss is a killer. The team played with so much heart. They put out so much effort and to end the night without a dividend in a double overtime thriller is just a killer Guys were completely gassed on the floor. The all-star break means no one is at peak performance levels and then to be asked to go double overtime is really incredible.

• The first quarter was an offensive showcase. The Jazz hit their first 8 shots. The 3rd and 4th ranked defenses were no where to be seen. Both teams got what they wanted and scored at will. The Jazz ball movement was incredible. They were getting dunk after dunk and when it wasn’t a dunk it was a corner 3. The starting lineup had a great offensive game.

• Russell Westbrook who has been the worst shooter in the league all season got it going early and never cooled off. He started by bogarting Rubio into the paint and scoring down low. Then the shot that has alluded him all season showed up. By the end of the night Westbrook had 43 points, 15 rebounds and 8 assists and hit a season high 6 three pointers.

• The Jazz trailed by 11 in the 3rd quarter and it felt like the Thunder were about to break the game wide open, but instead the Jazz fired back and took the lead in the third quarter and then lead by as many as 10 in the 4th quarter.

• The Jazz offense was awesome for most of the night. The Jazz finished with an offensive rating near 117. The turnovers were really bad but the offense was great.

• Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert were amazing tonight against a physical OKC team. Favors had a defensive stretch that brought the team back into the game in the 3rd quarter that was impactful as I have seen him all season. Plus, he went 10 of 11 shooting and had 24 points, 11 rebounds and 2 assists. Rudy Gobert was an unreal hand full for the Thunder to deal with. He had 26 points, 16 rebounds and 3 block shots.

• There was so many amazing plays that it is hard to recall all of them. Donovan made numerous on the offensive end, Jae Crowder had an amazing block, Raul Neto saved a possession with hustle. Ricky Rubio hit a mammoth three, Joe Ingles notched 2 corner 3s. It was an incredible performance.

• Paul George game winner was truly unreal, splitting a double team and then floating it over an outstretched Gobert to win it. George was equally unstoppable. He had 45 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists by the time the night was over.

• The match-ups for Ricky Rubio and Joe Ingles are almost unfair.

• The spotlight will be on the turnovers and they should be because they were really bad. However, the offense overall was great so were some of these turnovers in other circumstances made baskets. However, the Jazz committed way to many live ball turnovers early in the game and then too many ill advised turnovers late.

• Up 5 with 3:36 left and a win probability likely in the 80% Rubio tried an ill-advised alley opp to Donovan that went meekly out of bounds with Donovan having no chance to get it. This is too big a risk at that moment. A bucket here and the game is over and instead of a knock out punch on a risky play the Thunder went the other way for a three and a two point game.

• Up 5 with 1:53 left Rubio turned it over on a drive. Up 3 with 1:36 left Favors turned it over on a pass to Rubio and Donovan that went between them and out of bounds. An exhausted Donovan dribbled missed the handle on a cross over with :57.9 left in the 1st overtime while up 1 and Nader hit an unexpected three. Then the Jazz opened the 2nd overtime with three straight turnovers yet somehow were ahead by with the ball and 35 seconds to play.

• The Thunder deserve credit for the amount of plays they made as well. Each team was unreal in their will to make plays.

David Locke enters his ninth year as the radio play-by-play voice of the Utah Jazz, having spent the majority of his career in radio in Salt Lake City and Seattle. In the summer of 2016, Locke created the Locked on Podcast Network which has podcast daily bite sized podcasts for every NBA and NFL team. A native of Palo Alto, Calif., Locke graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles with a degree in Political Science and Sociology. Locke and his wife have a son and a daughter.

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