Published: Mon, April 23, 2018
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Russell Westbrook promises Ricky Rubio won't net triple double again

Russell Westbrook promises Ricky Rubio won't net triple double again

Donovan Mitchell added 22 points for Utah, which took a 2-1 lead in its first-round series with Oklahoma City.

"I just changed my mentality and tried to be more aggressive", Rubio said.

Rudy Gobert should be getting noticed as well. Rubio exploded in the 115-102 Utah win with 26 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists to notch a triple-double against the triple-double king. It's just the way we played. Meanwhile, after a horrendous Game 1, Jonas Jerebko was the star off the bench for the Jazz in Game 2 with 10 points of his own on 5-of-9 shooting and was an astounding plus-19. Much of the series will come down to George's ability to find a rhythm offensively. "We've got other guys to step up and Ricky's great at moving the ball and he's going to find the open man so we're not really anxious about that we're just going to play together and next man up and Ricky's going to keep playing well". Because I've tried it.

The 76ers lead their Eastern Conference series 3-1 and can eliminate the Heat in game five in Philadelphia on Wednesday (NZ time). He was talking about slowing down Rubio, but he might be better served getting himself going again. Mitchell made several highlight reel played and helped the visitors put the game away with a big fourth quarter. "It's huge. Have huge respect for him, and playing here is great because I know how important a point guard he is for this franchise". With Adams out of the game, the Jazz outscored the Thunder, 30-14. "I felt like they outworked us, and that should never happen", Rockets guard Gerald Green said. The Thunder averaged an inconceivably high 123.6 points per 100 on possessions that follow his defensive rebounds, according to data filtered by pbpstats.com. "I'm not saying they're not fouls, they're probably fouls that could have been left alone or gone either way".

Westbrook, on the other hand, was just 1-of-5 from mid-range on Saturday and is 8-of-25 overall in the series. "But tonight... We got open shots, and it's easy to make shots when you are open".

The Minnesota Timberwolves' Jimmy Butler hit four three-pointers among his 28 points and Karl-Anthony Towns had 18 points and 16 rebounds in their 121-105 defeat of the top-ranked Houston Rockets. That's particularly been the case for Jae Crowder, who was Utah's sixth man for the latter half of the regular season and put in some exceptional minutes. He didn't miss any time, though, and didn't even acknowledge the injury when asked about it in his postgame interview. "When you have somebody who's that focused, regardless of how he said it or what he said, he's serious about it".

Game 4 is set for Monday in Salt Lake City.

Carmelo Anthony also finished with 14 points and Paul George also shot under 50 per cent.

The Thunder center is consistently effective at defending without fouling. Most would think it's the team trailing that would feel the most pressure, but Utah has a chance to take total command of the series.

However in the two most recent games, both Jazz victories, Adams' minutes have been limited because of early foul trouble as he played just 22 minutes in Game 2 and 26 in Game 3. But if he's limited in any way, that's obviously a huge problem for the Thunder.

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