If you believe Westbrook, all of his personal efforts will be dedicated to stopping Rubio, who has been phenomenal in the playoffs so far with averages of 20.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 8.0 assists.
Westbrook's performance - Unless Paul George pulls something miraculous out of the hat, the Thunder can't beat the Jazz with Westbrook playing like he did on Saturday. The Thunder head coach put a microscope on the foul trouble Adams has been in for the entire series. The 2017 MVP is due for an explosion, though, so watch out for that in Game 4.
Speaking of Slick Ricky, he was spectacular in the first half. Adams finished with two rebounds. With a loss, OKC regains home court advantage and we go to OKC 2-2, needing to win at least one more game on the road. Mitchell, for his part, impressed again with 22 points, though he turned it over five times to go with just two assists. Royce O'Neale and George each got technicals for some pushing and words early in the fourth quarter.
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His achievement was heightened by the fact it came against the triple-double king, Westbrook.
Adams even fouled out of the second match after collecting his sixth foul with just under three minutes left in the game. In contrast, the Thunder, despite having the best offensive rebounder in the business at center, have scored just 8.5 second-chance points per game in the last two matchups, and gave themselves only six such opportunities on Saturday. "You feel more secure on the wing".
Ingles, who was a primary cog in Utah's offense as the Jazz got better and better throughout the season, was almost invisible in the first two games against the defense of George. "I condone it", Anthony said of Westbrook's comments.
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"I just changed my mentality and tried to be more aggressive", Rubio said of his Game 3 scoring burst and his triple double. Some of his eight turnovers happened when he was headed to the rim with Gobert looming. Perhaps Gobert's defensive presence is making one of the game's most instinctive players think twice. "I thought he took good shots and it really stabilized our group at that time". And they know their pathway to a win has to be through Westbrook.
"We all have phones, we all have social media so of course we're aware of it but what else was he supposed to say?"
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