If not for the springing comeback of Russell Westbrook, OKC could have lost their thunder to Utah in a second. After one of his 3-pointers that brought all the audience to cheers. He was quick and his performance was enough to tell Utah “Not tonight”.
Oklahoma City Thunder was following a 25-point deficit in the second half of the game. But Westbrook managed to find space to not only pat the gaps between the two but also lead his team to a 107-99 victory ever the Utah Jazz in Game 5 of the NBA playoffs. Scoring 45 points on his 17-of-39 shooting, he contained all the Utah team at once, creating an upset they won’t be able to forget anytime soon. Paul George was an able support for him, who scored 34 points on his 12-of-26 shooting. It was a night full of thunderous moments and the OKC team lived the meaning of its name. The two moved the team to victory even though no other player came close to a double-digit score.
Westbrook said, “It was one of those nights where obviously our bench, our crowd, everyone here in Oklahoma was behind us. We needed every bit of it tonight and our guys stepped up.”
Up until he made back-to-back 3 pointers for the team in the third quarter, the match was a death bell for the OKC team playing at home. The crowd was definitely not pleased with the Jazz dominating the home team like this. One more defeat would have made this game a bitter defeat to an already disappointing playoff for the team. Thankfully, this victory helped put a stop to the team’s otherwise shaky performance.
The Jazz team was on a humiliation spree on the Thunders, and the fanbase had already started getting frustrated and angry with their lackluster performance. The ignition could start only in the second half but saved the team from another sad match in the series. Paul George commented on the match saying, “We never quit, I can’t pinpoint one thing we did wrong. I think we never got down on ourselves. Regardless of the lead they built and the shots they were making, we felt we could surge back, and we did.”
On his teammate’s spectacular performance in the night, George said, “I thought Russ did an unbelievable job of taking what they were giving to him. He just played the game and whatever they did, he did the opposite. He was special.”
Westbrook, on the other hand, commented that both the teams played with the great magnitude of the game and did very well o both their parts.
Coach Billy Donovan said, “Once tomorrow starts, this is over with. I don’t look at it like we’re carrying any momentum. We’ve got to go in there and we’ve got to play better. This is a team that had us down by 25 points.
“We’ve got to come back and do it again, and this has been this team’s greatest challenge, is the consistency to be able to come back the next game and do it again over and over and over. And that’s what’s going to be required to continue to advance the series.”