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Home / Sports / Utah Jazz leads 2: 1 series over Oklahoma City Thunder behind Ricky Rubio's triple-double

Utah Jazz leads 2: 1 series over Oklahoma City Thunder behind Ricky Rubio's triple-double



SALT LAKE CITY – The ball bounced off the back of the rim after Joe Ingles launched a wing 3-pointer in the final minutes of the third quarter. Ricky Rubio, who took the curve once or twice, finally found him near the Midcourt and turned to look at his watch. Without much time, he pulled up one leg and fired at a 28-foot runner at the buzzer.

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It was that kind of night for Rubio. It was against the NBA's triple-double-king Rubio who scored the magic trio of the rounds – 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists – and Russell Westbrook, who had a strangely atypical night, scored 14 points on 5 of 17 shoots Eight Turnovers) when Utah Jazz won Game 3 over the Oklahoma City Thunder 1

15-102 and went up 2-1 in the series

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Ricky Rubio beats third. Quarter number with a 3-pointer from one leg.

Jazz has set up a roster that focuses on the team and matches the mindset that any player can lift the group at any time. With the way rookie Donovan Mitchell exploded on his way to becoming a superstar, it seemed that jazz was up to it. But with their stifling defense, which was always present, and Mitchell, who had a few problems, it was Rubio who answered the call.

The critical moments of Rubio's career night came in the second quarter, when the thunder took control at both ends. rise to 12 and some dominance on both sides of the ball are flashing. Nothing much happened for Utah, and it was not as if a lightbulb clicked over Rubio's absolutely sensational samurai ponytail – it was more of a reluctant takeover when he accepted the open midrange jumpers the thunder presented and the wave rode from the dynamics of there.

"I think the first two games, I was not effective in the midrange area," said Rubio. "It was something I worked on, I felt fine, but it did not go in, but tonight it felt good when the first couple went in. It's just how we played open shots and it's easy to fire when you're open. "

It left several moments during the night for an outrageously charged native crowd – spread out in a glorious pattern of yellow, red, and orange – to sing : "Ru-bi -O!" All that was missing was that he crowed at Peter Pan.

Ricky Rubio's triple-double (26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists) was the first of a jazz player since 2008. Rick Bowmer / AP Photo [19659012] The Thunder started much better than in games 1 and 2, with Billy Donovan making a smart move in the first quarter by starting [Patrick Patterson] early for Steven Adams. It was an attitude with the clear aim of tensing the floor and pulling Rudy Gobert out of the paint.

Westbrook was downsized for a layup – something he did not do much in the series – and Patterson I hit 3s in a row when Gobert went back in the paint. The other advantage was that Adams could rejoin the second unit of Utah and equalize with Derrick Favors's # 39 minutes in the middle (Favors killed OKC on the glass in Game 2). The Thunder drove an 18-2 run and there seemed to be something going on.

It all looked pretty good and smart, and then Rubio passed. With 19 in the first half he solved a 20-4 run to compensate for a double-digit deficit. Rubio has been quietly playing high-quality offensive basketball for the past few months of the season; The thunder did not give up – Rubio only fired. And it is not a good sign for the OKC if Rubio will benefit from Westbrook in this case.

"He took a few shots," Westbrook said of Rubio. But I'll close the next game, guarantee that. "

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Russell Westbrook guarantees that Ricky Rubio will not have the same type of Game 3 performance in Game 4.

Westbrook had previously odd nights, but he was remarkably passive in moments and undecided in the color. Jazz has used a clever scheme to confuse him, using Gobert's stunts and drops and trying to eliminate everything marginally. It has left Westbrook undressed help and left his feet to be caught in the air without having a large safety valve available. So many of Westbrook's sales were on him for making a bad initial decision, but were developed by the jazz's turns on the shoot. Westbrook scored two points in the fourth quarter of Game 2; He has not even tried a try in the fourth quarter of Game 3.

"I just have to take what is given," said Westbrook. "I make myself jump in the air and try to find P and Melo and others on the ground, I have to stay in attack mode and read my first option and continue with it."

Westbrook can dynamically dominate games, but he has avoided putting his trademark on one in this series. He has often deferred, trying to play the "right" basketball and swing to open scorers in space. But when the Thunder returns, Russell Westbrook will play again like Russell Westbrook.

"I'm just trying to make him think," said Gobert. "Everyone knows I protect the rim, and I know they know that, so all I have to do is play games, make them think, they're one of the best teams, especially Westbrook, to attack the basket try doing my best. "

Westbrook said of his approach to Game 4:" Just attack, put him in positions where he has to make a decision, he just sits under the basket, so we have to let him pay for it.

The Thunder have been secured against a cliff several times this season and always seemed to have just enough to hold on. This list of top heavy talent has got confused and perplexed, even a postseason appearance in doubt until the last week of the season. But they have always played it cool and believed in their top skill and veteran experience not to overreact and to be worried. Whether it's a big win on the road against a challenger or a stabilizing feat that regains the league's attention and restores faith in itself, the thunder had an answer all season long if they had one.

And now, with Game 4 on Monday and the jazz smelling of blood, OKC either takes the overthrow or shifts back once more.

"Game 4 will be a test of what kind of team we are in," said Carmelo Anthony. "Who are we as a team? I think we look forward to these kinds of challenges."


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