THE Oklahoma City Thunder came back from a 17-point third quarter deficit with a scorching fourth period blitz to shock the Utah Jazz, 100-94, on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time).
With Utah’s suffocating defense, Oklahoma City looked lifeless early with only 39 points in the first half and falling behind by as much as 17 in the third.
But Paul George sparked a 13-2 fourth quarter start to cut the lead down to 82-81 at the six-minute mark. The Jazz got the advantage back up to five, before Russell Westbrook finally gave the Thunder their first taste of the lead since the opening basket with a transition bucket then fed Carmelo Anthony for a jumper to put OKC up 90-87 with 3:35 to go.
A three-point play by Alex Burks got the Jazz back on the driver’s seat momentarily as George quickly answered with his own hoop-and-harm and Anthony scored on a fastbreak layup off a steal to put the Thunder up 95-92 with a little over a minute left.
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 then hit enough free throws to complete the comeback for their third straight win.
Westbrook had his seventh triple-double of the season with 34 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds to lead the Thunder (11-12) to their third straight win. George and Adams scored 21 and 20, respectively, while Anthony added 14 markers.
The Jazz (13-12) saw their six-game win run stopped despite getting 31 points from rookie Donovan Mitchell. Joe Ingles added 16 markers.