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The Chicago
31-08-2018 06:54 AM
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The Chicago
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Shutting down the Utah Jazz offense is proving easier said than done for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

For a second straight game Quandre Diggs Jersey , a late second-quarter surge by Utah carried over into the second half and it allowed the Jazz to pull away for a 113-96 victory Monday night. The Jazz used a 20-3 run spanning the end of the second quarter and the start of the third to break open the game.

Utah takes a 3-1 series lead back to Oklahoma City. Game 5 in the best-of-seven playoff is Wednesday night.

Donovan Mitchell had 33 points and seven rebounds to lead the Jazz to their third straight win in the series. Joe Ingles added 20 points, hitting five 3-pointers.

Mitchell’s willingness to attack the rim put the Thunder on their heels throughout the second half.

”He’s done a good job of getting in there and finishing or dropping it off,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. ”It’s an important part of what we do. He’s our most dynamic offensive player.”

Rudy Gobert added 16 points and 10 rebounds. Ricky Rubio chipped in 13 points, eight assists and six boards. Derrick Favors also scored 13.

Paul George had 32 points and Russell Westbrook added 23 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Thunder, who shot 39 percent from the field.

”I thought we played downhill a lot more,” coach Billy Donovan said. ”I thought we were at the rim a lot more. From there, we probably missed some opportunities to move the ball. I thought our ball movement was sporadic and sometimes it was very good.”

The Thunder opened a 26-19 lead late in the first quarter when Carmelo Anthony capped a string of three straight Oklahoma City baskets with an alley-oop layup. They held onto the lead for much of the second quarter until Utah finally woke up on offense.

Starting with Gobert cutting to the rim for a dunk with 3:45 left in the second quarter, the Jazz scored on 11 straight possessions. Ingles fueled the surge by hitting three consecutive 3s to put Utah in front 58-52 before halftime.

”These guys are great at telling me to shoot it as much as possible within the flow of our team and our offense,” Ingles said.

The surge Ingles kept going finally culminated in another dunk by Gobert that punctuated the decisive 20-3 run that gave Utah a 67-52 lead.

”The whole year, one of the things that we’ve wanted to do collectively is try to generate open shots,” Snyder said. ”You’re not always going to make them, but you want to keep taking them. Eventually, you’re going to make some. We hit some timely ones in the second half.”

The Jazz led by as many as 21 in the third quarter. Utah went up 87-68 when Mitchell drained a jumper and then fed Ingles for a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession.

Physical play and heated emotions characterized the game. Both teams picked up two technical fouls before halftime. Jae Crowder was ejected after a technical foul with 5:30 remaining in the fourth quarter.

”That’s just what you’re going to get with a playoff team Marcus Peters Jersey ,” George said. ”It’s playoff basketball. It’s going to get chippy. It’s going to get physical. We’re in it for the fight.”

TIP-INS

Thunder: Westbrook finished with his fourth consecutive double-double in the series. … Anthony went just 5 of 18 from the field. … Oklahoma City totaled one assist in the third quarter and finished with 10 for the game. … The Thunder shot 5 of 26 from 3-point range.

Jazz: Ingles is 10 of 21 from 3-point range over his last two games. … Utah forced 15 turnovers. … Royce O’ Neale finished with a career playoff-high nine rebounds. … Rubio is averaging eight assists per game in the series.

WESTBROOK VS. RUBIO

Westbrook publicly promised to shut down Rubio in Game 4 after the Jazz point guard notched a triple-double in Game 3. His aggressiveness ended up with Westbrook drawing four personal fouls in the first half. In the end, Rubio shot just 4 of 12 from the field, but he finished with two fewer assists (eight) than the Thunder tallied as a team.

Following the game, Westbrook did not want to discuss how he guarded Rubio.

”It wasn’t about me or him,” he said. ”Let’s get past that. We done with that.”

RECORD SETTER

Mitchell set a postseason rookie scoring record for the Jazz, passing Karl Malone, who had 31 points on April 20, 1986, against the Mavericks. Mitchell is the first rookie to have a 30-point playoff game since Brandon Jennings did it in 2010. Mitchell is just the third rookie in the last 50 years to score 110-plus points in his first four playoff games, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan.

”It’s definitely an honor to have a record like that,” Mitchell said. ”Definitely an honor. No doubt about that, but we have one more game, so I’m focused on that.”



Ha Ha Clinton-Dix returned to Lambeau Field for Green Bay Packers minicamp after the safety cited personal issues for missing some voluntary offseason workouts.

Clinton-Dix said that the death of his godmother following a heart attack hit him hard. She was a school principal who played a formative role in Clinton-Dix's upbringing.

"I learned everything. I learned the principles of being a young man Benardrick McKinney Jersey , not taking anything for granted," he said.

Having the opportunity to spend time with family meant a lot to him.

"But, you know, my family means everything to me," Clinton-Dix said after practice Tuesday. "If I have the opportunity to be home with them, I would love to be home with them."

The safety's absence during some voluntary workouts in May and early June was notable given that the Packers have a new defensive coordinator, Mike Pettine. A Pro Bowler in 2016, Clinton-Dix is part of the core of a defense hoping to improve following a lackluster 2017 season.

He's also entering the option year of the rookie contract signed after being drafted in the first round in 2014 out of Alabama.

Asked why he missed some of the workouts, Clinton-Dix first said "family issues," then winked .

Asked if his absence wasn't contract related, the fifth-year pro replied "personal issues."

Later, Clinton-Dix said he had no deadline to get a new deal done. He doesn't sound like someone who plans to hold out, either.

"What would it do Shannon Sharpe Jersey , though?" Clinton-Dix said. "You're just wasting your time, really. You're getting fined and fined and fined. I'm a guy that, I need my money, man. That's why I'm here now. I need my money."

Clinton-Dix was in Green Bay for three weeks at the start of the offseason program in April. He had his team-issued tablet computer the entire time while he was away to watch practices.

If there were any questions, Clinton-Dix would contact position coach Joe Whitt. A member of the coaching staff would get back to him with an answer, or send another video clip to help.

"Well, you guys can take attendance. It's a mandatory minicamp, so things step up. But I feel really good, Ha Ha all the way through," coach Mike McCarthy said. "We've had change, we've transitioned through that."

McCarthy followed recent tradition and excused 16 veterans with six or more years of experience from this week's minicamp, including quarterback Aaron Rodgers. So practices this week can especially help rookies or younger players lower on the depth chart make impressions on the coaching staff.

Still, any time on the practice field with a player with Pro Bowl potential such as Clinton-Dix can help as the Packers hope to finish the offseason program strong before going on summer break.

"Scheme or not Marcell Dareus Jersey , all you've got to do is (say) 'You've got this, you've got this' and he's going to go out there and play," second-year cornerback Kevin King said. "Playbook-wise, I'm not worried about that. Ha Ha is going to be Ha Ha."

Always confident, Clinton-Dix used word play when asked if minicamp was a time when he could play catch-up. Pettine's scheme appears to play to Clinton-Dix's strength and allow him to spend more time closer to the line of scrimmage, rather than 20 yards out.

"I love ketchup. Love it on my hot dogs, love it on my hamburgers and I love it on my fries," Clinton-Dix said. "Catch-up won't be a problem."

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