The Jazz ran into a buzzsaw called Paul George on Sunday night in Oklahoma City, and dropped game one 116-108 in the seven game series.
George finished the night with 36 points on 11-20 shooting, including a red hot 8-11 from the three point line. George’s shot making simply outperformed the Jazz defense, which was solid otherwise, containing the Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Steven Adams.
Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 27 points and 10 rebounds, despite dealing with an injured pinky toe which required an X-Ray between the third and fourth quarters. Mitchell’s ability to carry the Jazz offensive load will be key throughout the series, but he will need help. Though there were six other Jazzmen to finish in double figures, no player recorded more than 14 points. The Thunder will likely continue to try to let Ricky Rubio beat them with his shooting, allowing him to take 18 shots, but made only five of those attempts, and miss all three of his three-point attempts.
Despite George’s hot shooting, and the Jazz rough offensive outing, the stayed competitive for most of the first 43 minutes of the game.
How the Jazz adjust in game two will tell a lot about how they felt about their game one performance. Do the Jazz chalk up the loss to hot shooting from Paul George, and trust their game plan in game 2, attempting to limit Westbrook, Anthony and Adams, or do the Jazz sell out to limit George?
Here are the pros:
Russ needed 25 shots to score 29 points, and was a -1 for the game.
Melo needed 13 shots to score 15 points (below season average), and was a +1 for the game.
Adams needed 9 shots to score 12 points (below season average), and was a -4 for the game.
Donovan Mitchell scored 27 points on 22 shots, including 8-11 from the three point line.
Here are the cons:
Paul George scored 36 points on 20 shots, including 8-11 from three.
Ricky Rubio scored 13 points on 18 shots, including 0-3 from three.