Oklahoma City Thunder

Thunder Defeat The Jazz In Double Overtime Thriller

Craig Hofeld

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RAPID RECAP

The first quarter of this game was very much a sign of what was yet to come. Both teams started out on fire for a combined 9-10 from the floor. Due to the number of shots the Jazz was making, OKC was shooting 70% from the floor yet trailed by six. However, the Jazz went 1-7 from the floor to close the quarter which allowed OKC to get back into the game. OKC held a 35-34 lead after twelve minutes.

Dennis Schröder made his first appearance in a few weeks for the Thunder, and you could clearly tell he was a bit rusty. OKC relies on him so much to provide scoring off the bench. When he isn’t shooting well, the Thunder is usually struggling. However, thanks to the play of Russell Westbrook (20 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists) the Thunder actually had the advantage at halftime despite not scoring off the bench until 4:33 was left in the first half. The Thunder led 66-57 at halftime.

Utah came out in the second half with some solid adjustments. The Thunder began struggling to score, and the Jazz was lighting it up from deep. Utah was 4-7 at one point from three, and went on a 22-12 run. Once again Russell Westbrook was there to save the day as he hit a few triples of his own. Despite his effort, the Jazz held a 95-93 lead heading into the final quarter.

The beginning of the fourth quarter did not looking promising for the Thunder. At one point, the Jazz was outscoring the Thunder 45-29 in the second half. Both Paul George and Russell Westbrook turned up the heat in the end to get OKC back into this game. Russell Westbrook got up to 40 points during the fourth, but it was overshadowed by Paul George’s 17 points in the quarter alone. With the game tied, Russell Westbrook had a chance for the game winner, but came up short. The Jazz and Thunder headed to overtime tied at 129-129.

The first overtime was not a pretty one for OKC. At many times, it seemed as if they were barely holding on. Never once did it feel like the Thunder would actually win this game. To make it worse, both Russell Westbrook and Terrance Ferguson fouled out. Down by three, Paul George trusted Abdel Nader for a corner triple, and he nailed it. After a missed shot by both teams, we headed to the second overtime tied up 139-139.

The start of the second overtime was much better than the first for the Thunder. The Thunder has as much as a four point lead at one point, but the Jazz simply wouldn’t go away. Donovan Mitchell was seemingly hitting everything in the paint, and he brought Utah back time and time again. In the end, paul George made a nice move to get in the paint and then dropped a floater over the head of Rudy Gobert for the game winner. OKC wins 148-147 in double overtime.

THUNDER PLAYER OF THE GAME

This was without a doubt one of the more difficult nights to decide on a player of the game. Right up until the last 0.8 seconds, it seemed like Russell Westbrook was going to get it. However, when Paul George hit that winning shot, I had no choice but to go with PG13 as the MVP.

George recorded 45 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, and 1 steal. He was terrific all game long, but really came on strong at the end of regulation and in both overtime’s. It’s safe to say that he is the reason why OKC came away with a win on Friday night.

Oh, and can we talk about this dunk?!

BACK AT IT AGAIN

The Thunder will be back at it again Saturday night for the second game of a back-to-back. They will take on the Sacramento Kings in Oklahoma City at 7:00 PM CST. The game will be televised on FSOK, and broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.

The Kings currently hold a 2-1 advantage on the season series against the Thunder. A win for OKC Saturday night will be huge as it will tie up the series. Sacramento has given OKC a ton of trouble in the first three meetings, so I’m expecting an all out battle in this one. Let’s hope that the Thunder is rested after this brutal overtime win.

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