The Jazz lead, 3-2, and have an opportunity to end the series in Saturday's (AEST) Game 6 at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the Thunder fended off elimination on the back of their superstar, Westbrook, who scored 20 of his 45 points in the third quarter. Here are five takeaways heading into Game 6 on the road.
"We have had success, but eventually it is not going to work, so we have to play better defense as guards ourselves, not letting Russ get to the basket and letting him shoot", he added.
But then Westbrook hit back-to-back 3-pointers from the left wing, and George made a 3-point play that drew Derrick Favors' fourth foul. But you still have to like the confidence if you're a Jazz fan.
Paul George had 34 points in OKC's Game 5 win against Utah. They trailed by 14 points late in the game before rallying and having a chance to force overtime, with Joe Johnson missing a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
The two teams now travel to Salt Lake City for game six on Saturday. Even with Rudy Gobert on the bench via a referee's call on a phantom foul early in the third period, the Jazz should have maintained some fraction of their 25-point lead and advanced to the Western Conference semifinals against Houston.
Utah appeared more than on-track to humble the Thunder in front of an increasingly agitated OKC crowd. No other Thunder players scored more than Carmelo Anthony's seven points as they shot just 43 percent from the field and nine of 21 from the three-point line. "So, we'll go watch the film like we've done all year, the same routine we've done when we were up 3-1".
"This series has been about momentum changes", Westbrook said, "and tonight was our turn".
They pulled away from the Timberwolves in the thrid quarter led by Clint Capela's 26 points and James Harden's 24 points.
He ended the night with 45 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists and willed his team to keep their season alive with a 107-99 victory. Furthermore, the Jazz are the better defensive team and they have held the Thunder to below 44% shooting in three of their last four games in this series. Regardless of whether or not they can continue streaking in Game 6 or not, it was a special night that put off any discussions about them playing their last game together. It looked like it would be smooth sailing into the second round for a Utah team that was firing on all cylinders. Game, set, series for Utah ... until it wasn't.
The Jazz have played terrific defense on their home court in this series, and the Thunder' scoring has been widely inconsistent.
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