The Utah Jazz host the Oklahoma City Thunder in game 4 of their playoff opening series. The 5th seeded, Utah Jazz lead the series 2-1 over the 4th seeded Oklahoma City Thunder. The Jazz took the series lead with their 115-102 home victory in game 3. The Thunder will try to even the series before the two teams head back to Oklahoma City for game 5.
This NBA series features a contrast of styles and also a contrast in the amount of playoff experience between teams. The Utah Jazz are a young team with limited postseason experience. The Oklahoma City Thunder meanwhile have a roster full of veterans who have played in many important postseason contests. The Jazz are -5.5 point favorites over the Thunder in game 4.
Ricky Rubio Looks to Repeat Game 3
Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio had a monster game in their game 3 victory. Rubio notched a triple double with 26 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists to lead the Jazz and ignite the home crowd. If Rubio continues to play at a very high level then the Jazz have a great chance to take a 3-1 series lead.
Rookie Donovan Mitchell continued his stellar play in game 3, and has looked like a seasoned veteran since these playoffs have begun. The Jazz also were able to figure out a way to slow down Russell Westbrook in game 3. The Jazz played swarming defense on Westbrook and frustrated the former MVP throughout the game. With Rubio and Mitchell leading them, the Jazz are a tough team to beat at home in game 4.
Russell Westbrook Must Bounce Back
The Oklahoma City’s “Big 3” of Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony looked very average in their game 3 loss. The veterans now know that they are in for a challenge if they want to climb back into this series. Westbrook had a very bad game for his standards in game 3, finishing with only 14 points and 8 turnovers. Westbrook must play much better for the Thunder in game 4.
The Thunder have been very inconsistent all season long, and need to play with a sense of urgency in game 4. The veteran squad was really challenged by the Jazz in game 3, and they didn’t respond well on the road. The Thunder also have to find two guys to defend Mitchell and Rubio for the Jazz. The Thunder can’t afford to lose game 4 and head back home down 3 games to one.
Thunder Even Up the Series
The Utah Jazz looked unstoppable in their first home playoff game, but the Thunder know how to make adjustments. Ricky Rubio had a career night in game 3, but hasn’t proven that he can play like that consistently. The Jazz were able to frustrate Westbrook in their win, but the former MVP will bounce back.
Oklahoma City was built for the playoffs, but so far hasn’t looked like the team to beat in this series. Paul George has been pretty good all series, but Westbrook can’t turn the ball over like he did in game 3. Westbrook knows that his team needs him at his best and game 4 and the former MVP will deliver. Bet the Oklahoma City Thunder +5.5 over the Utah Jazz in game 4.