April 24, 2018 / 5:43 AM / 3 months ago

Mitchell, Jazz dump Thunder for 3-1 series lead

Donovan Mitchell recorded 33 points and seven rebounds, and the Utah Jazz took a 3-1 series lead with a scintillating 113-96 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night in Salt Lake City.

Joe Ingles made five 3-pointers while scoring 20 points, and Rudy Gobert contributed 16 points and 10 rebounds as Utah moved one win away from clinching the Western Conference first-round series. Ricky Rubio added 13 points and eight assists, and Derrick Favors also scored 13 points.

Paul George scored 32 points and Russell Westbrook had 23 points and 14 rebounds for the Thunder. However, Westbrook made just 7 of 18 field-goal attempts and Carmelo Anthony shot 5 of 18 while scoring 11 points.

Game 5 is Wednesday in Oklahoma City.

Mitchell’s point total was the highest in a playoff game by a Jazz rookie in franchise history.

“He is playing amazing, he doesn’t seem like a rookie at all,” Rubio said of Mitchell on a postgame interview with TNT. “It’s fun to see it, and it’s fun to help him get better. He’s amazing.”

The testy contest featured seven technical fouls. Utah’s Jae Crowder was ejected with 5:30 remaining for delivering a left elbow into the nose of Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams.

Also drawing technicals were Gobert, Ingles and coach Quin Snyder for the Jazz. Adams, George and Raymond Felton received technicals for the Thunder.

Oklahoma City was just 5 of 26 from 3-point range and shot 39.3 percent overall. Utah made 45.1 percent of its shots and was 12 of 34 from long range.

The Jazz pulled away at the start of the second half. They scored the first nine points of the third quarter and took a 67-52 lead on Gobert’s inside basket with 9:56 left.

Back-to-back baskets by George pulled Oklahoma City within 70-60 before Utah scored six of the next seven points, with Mitchell’s basket making it a 15-point margin with 6:24 left.

The Thunder were within 12 before the Jazz rattled off nine straight points. Mitchell made consecutive baskets and Ingles capped the spurt with a 3-pointer to give Utah an 87-66 advantage with 1:56 left.

Oklahoma City trimmed its deficit to 15 in the final minute of the third before Crowder drove for a layup with six seconds to go as the Jazz took a 90-73 lead into the final stanza.

The Thunder trailed by 13 early in the fourth quarter before Utah responded with a 9-2 burst. Mitchell culminated the run with a 3-pointer to boost the lead to 99-79 with 8:18 left.

Oklahoma City trimmed its deficit to 14 with 2:30 left to play, but Mitchell and Ingles answered with 3-pointers to make it 111-91 with 1:28 to play.

Mitchell scored 13 first-half points as Utah held a 58-52 lead at the break.

—Field Level Media

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