The Thunder are the higher seed - fourth in the West, against the Jazz's fifth - but, as befits a matchup between two teams that finished with identical regular season records, most pundits have the series going the distance, with OKC the slightest of favourites. Favors had just seven points and five rebounds, but was a minus-12 in a game the Jazz lost by double digits. Oklahoma City led 54-48 at halftime behind 20 points from George and 14 from Westbrook.
The Thunder had 54 points and a six-point lead and was glad to have both against the stingy Jazz, considering Utah led 16-4 nearly six minutes into the game.
While Westbrook and PG13 can be trusted to come up big in the postseason, I'm not sure the Thunder can count on Carmelo Anthony to turn it on in the playoffs.
The Jazz rocked to a 16-4 lead, but the Thunder recovered to get 36 points from Paul George, 29 points and 13 rebounds from Russell Westbrook, and timely fourth-quarter 3-point baskets from Alex Abrines. OKC has Russell Westbrook - the only player in National Basketball Association history to average a triple-double twice - and a big edge in playoff experience. "We had a lot of adrenaline early in the game".
As Andre Roberson is injured and inactive during these games, George is OKC's best available defender.
The Jazz may consider inserting Alec Burks into their bench rotation, because while he didn't earn minutes during the regular season, they may not have to worry about his defense against the Thunder's reserve guards.
The two Northwest Division rivals have not seen each other in almost four months, since playing on December 23 at Vivint Arena, their fourth meeting of the season and third in just an 18-day span. "We just have to move on from it". He often could create his own lane to the basket, going 14 for 21 on shots ten feet and closer in those contests. The Thunder held off a surge in the final minute. However Gobert has the edge in rebounding and blocked shots and is a better overall defensive presence.
This has been the case thanks to the impeccable athleticism of reigning MVP Russell Westbrook, the two-way play of Paul George, and a late addition in the form of an always-sprinting Corey Brewer.