Oklahoma City Thunder

Thunder Completes Epic Comeback to Force Game 6

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The Oklahoma City Thunder pulled off the 4th-largest comeback in NBA Playoff history and the largest comeback in Thunder franchise history on Wednesday night as they overcame a 25-point deficit to defeat the Utah Jazz 107-99.

The Thunder got off to a decent start, maintaining a lead for the majority of the first eight minutes of the game. It didn’t take long for the Jazz, however, as they took over the lead and pushed it to as many as nine points. Paul George managed to score 11 points to lead Oklahoma City, but the Jazz shot 7/10 (70%) from three, and at the end of the first, Utah led 34-29.

The second quarter started off terribly for Oklahoma City as it took more than four minutes before the Thunder even scored, and surprisingly, Utah did not do much with the opportunity. The Jazz shot poorly (5/16, 31.3%), but the Thunder shot even worse (6/23, 26.1%). Utah built their lead up to 15, and they went into halftime with a 56-41 advantage.

The third quarter was as close to an ugly start as the Thunder has seen this season, and with 8:34 left in the period, Utah had the largest lead of the night at 71-46. From that point forward, Oklahoma City kicked things into another gear as Russell Westbrook managed to flip the switch.

Westbrook kicked things off with consecutive threes, and he continued to slice and dice the Jazz defense to put up 20 of his 45 points on 6/10 (60%) from the field, including 4/5 (80%) from three, along with 4/4 (100%) from the free throw line. Paul George poured in 12 points on 5/8 (62.5%) from the floor, and as the quarter came to a close, the game was all tied up at 78-78.

Westbrook gave Oklahoma City the lead on the first possession of the fourth quarter, but Utah kept it close until midway through the fourth. With the Jazz on top 91-90, Russ hit a three to give the Thunder a 93-91 lead, and Oklahoma City would not relinquish it the rest of the way. Utah was able to get within three with a little over two minutes left in the game, but Oklahoma City’s defense held strong, and Westbrook and George were able to keep getting it done on the offensive end to close out the game strong and come away with the win to force a Game 6 in Salt Lake City.

Box Score

3 Quick Thoughts

  • There Is Still Life: Midway through the third quarter, Thunder fans everywhere thought the season was over, and it might as well have been. Westbrook and company had other plans, however, and now the Thunder is headed to Salt Lake City for Game 6. Utah has all the pressure on them now, and if Oklahoma City manages to pull out a win on Friday, the Thunder will have to be feeling pretty good about game 7 in Oklahoma City. Don’t count this team out just yet.
  • Who is Going to Step Up on Friday?: Russell Westbrook and Paul George led the way tonight, but it is likely going to take someone else stepping up and getting it done on Friday in order to get a win. Carmelo Anthony played poorly, when he actually played, and Steven Adams never really got anything going. The bench was rendered ineffective, but they didn’t really play that much. If the Thunder wants to get the win in Utah on Friday, I suspect that Steven Adams is going to have to have a big performance, as well as some decent play from the bench.
  • Keep Adjusting and Improving: The Thunder managed to make some solid adjustments to mount the comeback, but improvements have to keep coming. Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors got in foul trouble, which allowed Oklahoma City to take advantage of the paint, but the Thunder cannot bank on that happening again in Game 6. Oklahoma City needs to focus on cleaning up the defense, specifically guarding the perimeter, or else Friday could be a long night.

Back to Utah

The Thunder heads back to Salt Lake City, Utah, for Game 6 against the Utah Jazz on Friday night. Tip-off is set for 9:30 PM CT and will be televised on ESPN and FSOK. The game will also be broadcast on the radio on WWLS 98.1 FM.

Round 1 Schedule Game 6

Be sure to check out our latest edition of “Thunder Things with the Thunder Guys.”

Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter & Instagram, and give us a like on Facebook.

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