Rubio's triple-double leads Jazz past Thunder for 2-1 lead | Inquirer Sports

Rubio’s triple-double leads Jazz past Thunder for 2-1 lead

/ 01:08 PM April 22, 2018

Utah Jazz guard Ricky Rubio (3) reacts after being fouled as he shot a three-point basket against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first half during Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY — Ricky Rubio had 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for Utah’s first playoff triple-double in 17 years, and Donovan Mitchell added 22 points to lead the Jazz to a 115-102 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night and a 2-1 lead in their first-round series.

Joe Ingles, who had 21 points, made two 3-pointers around two free throws to spark a 13-0 surge that ended on Mitchell’s 3 to put Utah up by 20 points in the fourth quarter. The big run was just par for the course in a series characterized by large runs by one team, then countered by the other.

Rubio’s triple-double was the first by a Jazz player in the postseason since John Stockton in the 2001 playoffs against Dallas.

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Paul George scored 23 points and Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook and Raymond Felton each had 14 for the Thunder. Westbrook also had 11 rebounds and nine assists, just missing his ninth playoff triple-double but also had eight turnovers and shot 5 for 17.

Gobert’s dunk and pair of free throws capped a 9-0 run in the third quarter to give Utah an 84-70 lead. Minutes later, Rubio hit a running 28-foot 3-pointer to make it 89-75 entering the final period.

The Jazz changed coverages on Westbrook throughout the game and surprised the perennial All-Star with different players in his expected passing lanes.

Utah also outrebounded the Thunder 48-33 and seemed much quicker to the loose balls in the midst of a charged atmosphere. The Jazz’s hustle plays energized the packed arena festooned in the colors of Southern Utah – red, orange and yellow.

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With Utah trailing 47-43, Rubio scored 10 consecutive Jazz points and his 3-pointer and subsequent three free throws gave Utah a 53-49 lead. The point guard walked toward half-court with his arms outstretched, drinking in the deafening roar and subsequent “RU-BI-O! RU-BI-O!” chants from the fans.

Rubio, playing just his third playoff game in his seven-year NBA career, had 19 at the half and the Jazz led 58-53.

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The Thunder, shot 16 for 24 on field goals and 7 for 11 on 3s, to lead 45-33 on Westbrook’s layup with 7:26 left in the second quarter.

TIP-INS

Thunder: Oklahoma City was outscored 30-14 after Adams sat down with his third foul early in the second quarter. … Both Adams and Mitchell picked up their fourth fouls in the first half of the third quarter. … Adams finished with two rebounds. … The Thunder shot 14 for 28 from 3-point range.

Jazz: Utah started the game by converting nine of its first 10 shots, then missed eight of the next nine. … Royce O’Neale and George got double-technicals for some pushing and words early in the fourth quarter. … Carlos Boozer had the last triple-double for the Jazz in 2008, but it came in the regular season. … Utah had 19 second-chance points to the Thunder’s eight.

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Game 4 is Monday night in Salt Lake City.

TAGS: NBA, Oklahoma City Thunder, Ricky Rubio

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