Jazz crowd taunts Paul George during Game 3

Paul George says he has lost some explosiveness due to hip injury

Paul George says he has lost some explosiveness due to hip injury

The matchup that will decide the first-round series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz won't be Donovan Mitchell vs. Russell Westbrook.

Not surprisingly, the Thunder dropped both of those games while watching Rubio rack up 22 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in Game 2 and following that up with a superb triple-double that featured 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in Game 3.

Although Utah has grabbed a slight hold in the series, leading 2-1 after three games, George has been a steady offensive contributor averaging 25.7 points on 45.6 percent shooting from the field and 48.4 percent from beyond the arc.

A two-games-to-one series deficit has been common for Oklahoma City Thunder playoff teams.

Ricky Rubio had 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to spur the Utah Jazz to a 115-102 win over Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday.

Rubio sparked a 20-4 run in the first half to overcome a 12-point deficit, hitting a flurry of midrange jumpers as the Thunder sagged off of the point guard. "I have huge respect for him". It helps a lot when you're making shots. We'll find out tomorrow night as Game 4 tips off in Utah. He was talking about slowing down Rubio, but he might be better served getting himself going again.

5 takeaways from Wolves-Rockets Game 3
The Timberwolves are all but dead if they fall behind 3-1 in the series so this is basically a must-win game for them. Meanwhile, the returning Ryan Anderson , who's missed the last three months with an ankle issue, was a minus-12.

After going just 3-of-13 in the mid-range in the first two games, Rubio connected on all five of his shots from the area in Game 3. Utah, which scored 50 points in the paint in Game 2, will be hoping for that kind of production as the series shifts to Salt Lake City for Game 3 Saturday night.

Rubio was playing in just the third play-off game of his 7-year National Basketball Association career.

Asked if the Rubio might have an encore in Game 4, Westbrook defiantly declared that he would shut down any chance of that happening.

The Jazz have yet to have a really good three-point shooting night. Harden was just 3 for 8, his rainbows often drifting to the left, as the Wolves kept up what has been a better-than-usual defensive performance in this series.

Can Russell Westbrook stick to his guarantee?

"I just changed my mentality and tried to be more aggressive", Rubio said of his Game 3 scoring burst and his triple double. "I could play 10 hours straight when I was a kid", Adams says.

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