Oklahoma City Thunder: 3 takeaways from Game 5 vs. Jazz

Ruben Holloway
April 27, 2018

That's what the Jazz have been for most of the back half of the season. It either happened right then or it didn't happen at all. Most of their comeback was mounted when Gobert was out of the game due to foul trouble. The Milwaukee Bucks are going to need something special to come back in this series. The composure and pride of a superteam assembled last summer to contend for a title came together and in the nick of time, allowing the Thunder to save face and their basketball lives for at least another game.

As spectacular as the Thunder offense was in the third, the defense was just as ridiculous.

"We knew it wasn't over right here". As Westbrook told the Jazz later on, "Not tonight". From there, they outscored the Jazz 62-34 to take the win 107-99. "Playoff P" is shooting 88 percent from the foul line. Ricky Rubio wasn't sharp in game five, however he is averaging 16.8 points in the series. This time around, however, the Thunder were celebrating a scarcely believable comeback.

In fact, I predict that it will be the best game of the series. "We stopped getting back". So did Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.

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4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games.

Westbrook's drained another three-pointer tied the game 78-78 heading into the fourth quarter. He scored 24 points in the entire series before Wednesday's game. Regardless, the bickering with Cheeks wasn't a good look, even though his explanation of the event was absolutely acceptable.

And now, Game 6 awaits them all. Collison scored just four points in 21 minutes. It is also important to note that that Carmelo and Corey Brewer were off the floor for almost all of this comeback. Two Batmen, no Robin.

James finished with 44 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. "It's just about coming out here and playing hard". They have big reputations to keep, a heavily-hyped season to save and quite possibly could lose George to free agency if they fizzle in the first round.

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George's post-game interview was incredible, by the way. And though it technically isn't win-or-die for the Jazz, it sure feels like it, and truly is for the Thunder.

The Jazz still hold a 3-2 series lead and have another chance to eliminate the Jazz in game six on Friday. The Jazz are dominant on their home court, and I am confident their depth and defense will play a key role in a solid win. For one, Rudy Gobert's foul trouble removed him from the contest and opened up the floor tremendously.

- Westbrook and Paul George combined for 79 points on the night and all 32 OKC points in that third-quarter run. The Jazz made sure of that, stealing one of the first two games in OKC and then taking the next two in Utah. The Jazz took a 56-42 lead into halftime and seemed to be in total control. And why must OKC still fight off elimination for, at best, two more games this series, which now shifts to Salt Lake City? The defensive scheme wasn't working again.

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