National Basketball Association
Oklahoma City at Utah
When: 10:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 21, 2018
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah
The Utah Jazz took homecourt advantage behind rookie star Donovan Mitchell with a win at Oklahoma City in Game 2. The Jazz will try to hold onto that advantage when they host the Thunder in Game 3 of the best-of-seven Western Conference first-round series on Saturday.
Utah dropped Game 1 and fell behind in Game 2 before outscoring Oklahoma City 28-16 in the fourth quarter to steal a 102-95 victory. "As much as anything, I think our team stayed together," Jazz coach Quin Snyder told reporters. "There was a determination, and we felt like we just needed to rely on our defense - and that's what we did. Obviously, Donovan's aggressiveness on the offensive end fueled us there." The veteran Thunder aren't panicking after one loss and understand the ebbs and flows of a playoff series. “It’s all about kind of just understanding the situation that we’re in," Oklahoma City forward Carmelo Anthony told reporters. "In the playoffs, in these types of situations where you win one, you lose one, I’ve seen times where people just panic and start overthinking and things like that. When I go back and look at the game and recap and watch the film, Utah did a great job in Game 2, but I think we beat ourselves by not doing the small things."TV:
10 p.m. ET, ESPN, FS Oklahoma, AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain (Utah)ABOUT THE THUNDER:
Anthony is off to a slow start in his first playoff series with Oklahoma City and is 11-of-31 from the floor through two games. "There’s things that we can correct, things that we have to correct, things that we will correct," Anthony said. " On to the next game. We threw the first punch, they punched us back tonight and now we have to go on the road and get a win at their place. That’s the mindset." Small forward Paul George, who dubbed himself "Playoff P," went 6-of-21 from the field in the loss.ABOUT THE JAZZ:
Mitchell got some help in Game 2 from backcourt mate Ricky Rubio, who collected 22 points, nine assists and seven rebounds after struggling to 5-of-18 from the floor in Game 1. "I was looking for my shot too much," Rubio told reporters after the win. "In Game 1, I was over-aggressive. I didn’t look to get my teammates involved. Tonight, I did a better job of looking for my teammates and I took shots when they were open. I had to remember that we play as a team, and that was our strength." The backcourt production was matched up front by Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors, who combined for 33 points and 31 rebounds.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Mitchell's 55 points are the most for a rookie for a rookie guard in his first two playoff games, surpassing the 53 points scored by Michael Jordan.
2. Oklahoma City PG Russell Westbrook recorded a double-double in each of the first two games.
3. Utah PF Jonas Jerebko scored 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting in Game 2 after going scoreless in Game 1.PREDICTION:
Jazz 113, Thunder 102
Stats and Records