Utah Jazz guard Ricky Rubio throws a towel to a fan after the Jazz won the NBA Western Conference First Round playoffs game three against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, Apr. 21, 2018. EPA-EFE/GEORGE FREY
Salt Lake City, USA, Apr 21 (efe-epa).- Ricky Rubio scored a triple-double as the Utah Jazz defeated Oklahoma City Thunder 115-102 on Saturday night to take a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference first round playoff series.
Rubio scored 26 points and sank 50 percent of his field goal attempts, while making 11 rebounds and 10 assists in what was a dominant performance from the Spaniard.
The Jazz recovered from a slow start during the second quarter before stamping their authority on proceedings, finishing the third quarter with a 14-point lead.
Rubio had a strong supporting cast in rookie Donovan Mitchell, who recorded a double-double of 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Rudy Gobert was also at the double, putting up 18 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
“We played hard, we knew they were gonna come out aggressive. It feels good to win. We protected our home court, and we move on to the next one”, Rubio said.
Although he led his team in rebounds (11) and assists (9), the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook endured a frustrating evening in Salt Lake City, shooting just five of 17 field goals, and was similarly errant from distance, making one of four three-point attempts, as he racked up 14 points in total.
Paul George led the OKC in scoring with 23 points, while Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton matched Westbrook’s haul of 14.
The game was won on turnovers, with the Jazz capitalizing on the Thunder’s 17 to the tune of 33 points.
“It’s hard to recover when you turn over like that, and they certainly impacted us tonight”, Oklahoma coach Billy Donovan said.
The series will stay in Utah for Game four on Monday.