With his team trailing by 25 points and staring a first-round playoff exit in the face, Russell Westbrook produced a performance for the ages as he inspired a huge comeback win for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Paul George and Westbrook were the only two OKC players reaching double-digits in points in game five, and they will likely need more secondary scoring to have a chance in this series.
After waiting all series for the reigning MVP to show up, he delivered with his team facing elimination. Russell Westbrook led the rally with 45 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists on 17 of 39 shooting while Paul George added 34 points.
As noted by Lowe, don't be surprised if the Thunder opt for this group earlier than usual during Game 6. 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.
Utah opened the second half on an 8-1 run to go up 64-42, and Crowder's 3-pointer made it 71-46 with 8:34 left in the third quarter. He went from potential goat (turning the ball over, which the National Basketball Association said was a bad call) to hero (blocking Victor Oladipo's layup, which the National Basketball Association later said was also a bad call and should have been goaltending) to hero by hitting the game-winner.
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Although the comeback was epic and potentially series-altering, it's worth noting again that Gobert was saddled with foul trouble and the Thunder was hitting shots the Jazz are probably comfortable letting them take. "To be down 20-something, 25 points, coming back the way we did today, just tells you about our team, the type of group we have, the mentality that we had tonight". The overall plus-minus numbers make it hilariously clear who changed the game. He has been the unquestioned star of this matchup for No. 1 seed Toronto, putting up 28.8 points and 5.0 assists, with three games of at least 30 points apiece. Oklahoma City then controlled the fourth quarter. Westbrook had 20, including four three-pointers, while George had 11.
Bold, Donovan, bold! Especially after melting down up 25 points.
Then he said something that is only second in importance to the combo-pack of effort and execution in Friday night's game.
On the other hand, Donovan Mitchell has a different perspective on the choking at the Chesapeake, one that has less to do with miracles on the part of the Thunder and more to do with Jazz mistakes.
It was no coincidence that OKC's rally happened with Anthony on the bench.