Oklahoma City Thunder playoffs

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Feb 27, 2018
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Tulsa
www.tulsaworld.com
#1
OKLAHOMA CITY — If the New Orleans Pelicans can travel to favored Portland and get a Game 1 victory, and if the Indiana Pacers can win by 18 points in the home gym of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, then it certainly was within the realm of possibility that a surging Utah Jazz team would be a threat on Sunday at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Oklahoma City has a history of clashing with streaking opponents in the playoffs. In advance of the 2012 Western Conference finals, San Antonio had an 18-game win streak. In advance of the 2016 Western finals, Golden State had the momentum of a 73-win regular season.

With 29 victories in its last 35 games since January, the Jazz arrived in Oklahoma at a 2012 Spurs-2016 Warriors level of hotness.

In a Game 1 that began only minutes after the conclusion of Indiana’s blowout conquest of the Cavs, could Utah score a knockdown in this first round of its first-ever postseason meeting with the Thunder?

The Jazz rocked to a 16-4 lead, but the Thunder recovered to get 36 points from Paul George, 29 points and 13 rebounds from Russell Westbrook, and timely fourth-quarter 3-point baskets from Alex Abrines.
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Feb 27, 2018
159
138
43
118
Tulsa
www.tulsaworld.com
#2
OKLAHOMA CITY — Exactly two years earlier, there was the Dallas debacle.

In Game 2 of a first-round series, Oklahoma City was dealt a one-point home loss by a Mavericks team that might have had less horsepower than any postseason team that season.

On Wednesday, there was Game 2 of the Utah-Thunder series at Chesapeake Energy Arena. It bore a strong resemblance to Game 2 of the 2016 Dallas-Thunder series — and the outcome was exactly the same.

In spite of jarring the Jazz with a 19-0, third-quarter run, the Thunder reverted to some of the bad habits that were so common during the regular season.

Oklahoma City attempted too many 3-point shots, missed too many 3-point shots, got only 54 points from its three primary offensive sources and wound up with a 102-95 defeat.
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