Oklahoma City's Westbrook fined but avoids suspension after Game 4 confrontation
26 April, 2018, 00:10 | Author: Lula Armstrong
There was some speculation that Russell Westbrook would be suspended for Game 5 of the Thunder's first round series with the Jazz following a scuffle he got into with Rudy Gobert following a hard foul. The NBA investigated whether Westbrook left the bench to pursue the altercation, which could have led to a suspension, but it decided only to hand out the fine as well as a post-game technical foul. The ROY candidate accounted for 33 points, seven rebounds and four dimes.
"Just gotta take what's given", he said.
The Jazz are shooting 46.5 percent from the field as a team in the postseason.
Expect this one to be a clinic on boxing out as two of the league's top rebounding teams go head-to-head. Given the way Utah has been clicking of late and the fact that the Thunder is in desperation mode, this one likely gets pushed over the total. Also, the Jazz rank 24th in turnover percentage (14.5 percent), while the Thunder rank first in opponents' turnover percentage (15.3 percent).
Winning in Utah won't to be easy, where the Jazz have won six straight.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma City is 49-37 SU and 34-50-2 ATS.
Oklahoma City was inconsistent much of the year, but it has had to contend with shooting woes from offseason acquisition Carmelo Anthony, who has hit just 25 percent of his 3-pointers in the first four games of the playoffs.
The surge Ingles kept going finally culminated in another dunk by Gobert that punctuated the decisive 20-3 run that gave Utah a 67-52 lead.
"It's the playoffs, it's gonna be war", Utah point guard Ricky Rubio, who had a triple-double in Game 3, told the Salt Lake Tribune after Utah's 113-96 victory in Game 4.
The Thunder will have to beat a good team three times in a row to make sure their season doesn't end this week.
By the time the brutal third quarter was completed, the Rockets had a 31-point lead by way of a 50-point quarter in which Harden, the overwhelming favorite for the NBA's Most Valuable Player Award, personally outscored the entire Timberwolves team, 22-20.
The question looming for Oklahoma City: Is there anything else they can do about it?
Physical play and heated emotions characterised the game.
Oklahoma City averages 18.9 points off turnovers per game, which ranks first in the National Basketball Association.
The Thunder rank fifth in rebounds per game (45.0) while the Jazz rank 18th (43.5). So instead of preparing for a second-round series, the Thunder are facing elimination and should start making calls to their travel agents for early summer vacation plans.
Utah appears to be in Oklahoma City's heads right now and aside from the Jazz's struggles ATS in Oklahoma City the last many seasons, there isn't a lot of argument to be made in taking the Thunder.
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