EditorsNote: adds Billy Donovan quote
Donovan Mitchell scored 20 of his 28 points in the final 13 minutes, and the Utah Jazz evened up their Western Conference first-round series with a 102-95 victory over the host Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Ricky Rubio contributed 22 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, and Derrick Favors recorded 20 points and 16 rebounds to help Utah tie the series at one game apiece. Rudy Gobert had 13 points and 15 rebounds, and Jonas Jerebko tallied 10 points as the Jazz halted a 15-game losing skid in Oklahoma City.
Russell Westbrook had 19 points, 13 assists, nine rebounds and four steals for the Thunder. Paul George shot just 6 of 21 while finishing with 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Carmelo Anthony had 17 points and nine rebounds.
Game 3 is Saturday in Salt Lake City.
Oklahoma City made just 6 of 27 field-goal attempts in the fourth quarter to finish at 40 percent. George (six misses), Westbrook (four) and Anthony (four) combined to miss all 14 of their final-quarter shots.
Jerami Grant (13 points) and Corey Brewer (11) also scored in double digits for the Thunder.
“I think our main guys got pretty good looks, and I thought we moved the ball to the open man,” Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan said, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. “I thought we even had times where we rolled to the basket and we had a presence at the basket. We had a hard time finishing there, as well. We just didn’t score enough points.”
The Jazz, who shot 41.7 percent from the field, held a 56-46 rebounding advantage.
“We needed this win,” Favors said during a postgame interview with AT&T SportsNet. “We came out and were aggressive. We played as a team, played good team defense and everybody contested their shots. Everyone played their part and we played hard.”
The Thunder rattled off 19 consecutive points during the third quarter to turn a 67-58 deficit into a 10-point advantage. Anthony’s baseline jumper culminated the burst with 1:02 remaining.
Mitchell scored seven points in the final 54.4 seconds of the quarter as Utah pulled within 79-74 entering the final stanza.
The rookie standout continued his splurge in the fourth quarter and made a floater to give the Jazz an 81-80 edge with 9:50 left. Rubio’s 3-pointer made it 85-80 with 8:47 remaining before the Thunder recovered to tie it at 87 on Steven Adams’ inside basket with 6:54 left.
Another 3-pointer by Rubio gave Utah a 92-89 lead with 4:02 left, and the lead reached 99-93 on Mitchell’s basket with 1:33 left.
Gobert made two free throws and Rubio split a pair to wrap up Utah’s first win in Oklahoma City since a 120-99 triumph on Oct. 31, 2010.
Rubio had 12 points, five rebounds and five assists in the first half to help the Jazz take a 53-46 halftime lead.
—Field Level Media