For most of Tuesday night's game, it looked like the Jazz were going to break through and finally defeat Oklahoma City on its home court for the first time in seven years and a dozen tries.
Reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook lifted the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 100-94 victory over the Utah Jazz.
"He changed the game", Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook said of Roberson. "If we get a defensive rebound we get a chance to play in flow and the game doesn't stagnate in the halfcourt". "Leaving it all on the floor, you seen it tonight".
Westbrook picked the ball away from Mitchell with 4:14 left and finished it off on the other end to put the Thunder up 88-87, their first lead since the opening moments of the game.
Paul George had one of his best games in a Thunder uniform, scoring 21 points. Thabo Sefalosha finished with 11 points, eight rebounds and four steals in a fine performance off the bench, and Alec Burks also scored 11 in a reserve role.
Rookie Donovan Mitchell scored 31 points and Joe Ingles added 16 for the Jazz, who had won six straight and scored at least 106 points in each game. "He gave them a lot of energy and gave them points". However, there's no denying that they have the makings of a powerhouse with their Big 3 of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, so they can't be overlooked.
"We ran out of steam a little bit emotionally", Snyder said. "We have to play through that".
Anthony and George combined for 19 points in the fourth quarter to help Oklahoma City complete the rally. Thunder PG Russell Westbrook blocked his 200th career shot, becoming the only player in National Basketball Association history with 200 blocks, 5,000 assists and 15,000 points in his first 700 career games. The Jazz were sinking shots and playing aggressive defense as they built up a 17-point lead against the Thunder and appeared to be on their way to their seventh straight win of the season.
A tip-in by Steven Adams off an Anthony missed jumper gave OKC some more breathing room with a 97-92 edge and only 43 ticks remaining.
The Thunder outrebounded the Jazz 23-13 in the fourth quarter. "We knew we had to make a push".
"I thought it was a great win, considering the way we played in the first half", said OKC coach Billy Donovan. "When we're patient on offense, Steven's going to get those opportunities". All over Western Conference foes.
Not only that, but they've seemed to slowly but surely be righting the ship as they are coming off two impressive wins over the Minnesota Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs.
"It's very satisfying when the bench comes in and we don't retreat, we don't have any lapses", Thunder forward Patrick Patterson said. We are sacrificing everything we got. It's not like we're throwing the ball into the low post and this guy's going to a variety of different moves. "We just have to stay committed to the little things and keep fighting for each other".
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