The Utah Jazz hosted the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series Monday and took a 3-1 lead in the series thanks to a win.
The Thunder opened the series with a 116-108 win in Game 1, carried by Paul George and his 36 points on eight-of-11 shooting from three-point range. In Games 2 and 3 however, the Jazz were able to get wins to take control of the series thanks to the backcourt of Donovan Mitchell and Ricky Rubio.
Mitchell scored 13 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter of Game 2 to lead Utah to a 102-95 victory on the road. Rubio put up 26 points, 11 boards and 10 assists in a 115-102 victory in Game 3 to give Utah a 2-1 advantage in the series.
Russell Westbrook shot 36.1 percent in the first three games and was averaging 20.7 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to go with 2.3 steals while Rudy Gobert was posting 15 points, 11.3 rebounds, two blocks and one steal to go with 71.4 percent shooting from the field.
In Game 4, Mitchell and Rubio paced Utah's offense as Joe Ingles was huge on offense and defense on the wing while Gobert held down the paint and the Jazz walked away with a 113-96 victory. The Thunder had trouble creating much offense with Westbrook in foul trouble and almost no shots falling from three for anybody on the team.
Look back at how the game developed throughout the night.
Neither team was able to create much separation from the other in the opening minutes as the two traded baskets for much of the start of the quarter. Westbrook and George either scored or assisted on 10 of OKC's first 11 field goals.
Gobert, Mitchell and Derrick Favors scored 18 of the Utah's first 19 points.
Westbrook picked up two quick fouls early on while guarding Rubio and George picked up a technical early in the first after pushing Joe Ingles.
The Thunder shot 52 percent in the quarter and were able to get out of it with a 30-24 lead as George and Westbrook combined for 17.
The scoring continued to go back-and-forth with the Thunder advantage only getting as high as eight in the opening minutes of the frame.
Jazz coach Quin Snyder and OKC center Steven Adams were both called for technical fouls in about a minute of each other as the game started to get even more chippy.
Westbrook picked up his third foul of the game with seven minutes and 25 seconds left in the quarter.
Ingles led a charge for the Jazz to close out the quarter as they used an extended 29-15 run to build a 58-52 lead going into half.
Ingles and George continued to go at each other throughout the quarter as tensions continued to rise. Ingles was given a technical foul at one point during an exchange, which was the fourth tech of the game.
Westbrook picked up his fourth foul of the game with just fewer than two minutes left in the quarter and Utah went on an 8-3 run after Westbrook was taken out of the game.
Mitt Romney also had some fun as the Jazz created a six-point lead going to the break as the reigning MVP dealt with foul trouble.
The Jazz took complete control of the game to open up the third thanks to a 9-0 run.
Anthony, Westbrook and George missed three straight threes in OKC's first possessions of the half while Utah had three assisted field goals and two free throws from Mitchell to extend its lead to 67-52.
The teams essentially traded buckets for a stretch after the Jazz pushed their lead to 16 and OKC could not get the deficit any closer than 10 as George ripped off 7 points to keep the road team within range.
The Jazz would answer though, and with a 9-0 run capped by an Ingles three late in the quarter, they held a 21-point lead.
Utah got out of the quarter with a 90-73 lead.
The Jazz continued to keep the Thunder at a distance to open up the fourth.
With about minutes left in the game and Utah up 20, Raymond Felton fouled Gobert and appeared to hit him in the groin on the play. Westbrook was checking in during the time and a small confrontation between Gobert and Westbrook led to double-technical fouls being called on the two.
Utah maintained its lead thanks to OKC going 3-for-20 from three up to this point while the Jazz went 10-for-30.
Tensions continued to rise throughout the night between the teams and Anthony and Jae Crowder ended up butting heads after Crowder elbowed Steven Adams in the face shortly after Westbrook fouled Crowder.
Crowder was ejected for the play with five minutes and 30 seconds remaining in the game.
The Thunder would never get closer than 14 as Mitchell and Ingles put the game away for Utah and closed out the 113-96 win.
Notable Final State Lines
Mitchell—33 points (13-for-28), seven rebounds, four assists
Ingles—20 points (five-for-11 from three), four assists
Rubio—13 points, eight assists, six rebounds
Gobert—16 points, 10 rebounds
Westbrook—23 points (seven-for-18), 14 rebounds, three assists, five turnovers
George—32 points (nine-for-21) six rebounds, six turnovers
Anthony—11 points (five-for-18 and 0-for-six from three), six rebounds
Jazz—21 assists, 12-for-34 from three
Thunder—10 assists, five-for-26 from three
Six technical fouls called (three on each team)
Game 5 of the series will be Wednesday in Oklahoma City.