Utah Jazz (48-34) at Oklahoma City Thunder (48-34)
|Date & Time||Wednesday April 18, 2018, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Oklahoma City Thunder -5 -- Over/Under: 206.5
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The Utah Jazz look to level the series against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Game 2 on Wednesday.
The Utah Jazz were running hot going into the playoffs as they capped off the regular season with seven wins in their last nine games but they will be looking to bounce back after falling to the Thunder in a 116-108 loss in Game 1. Donovan Mitchell led the team with 27 points and 10 rebounds, Rudy Gobert added 14 points while Joe Ingles and Ricky Rubio each scored 13 points. As a team, the Jazz shot 47 percent from the field and 11 of 28 from the three-point line but they just couldn’t find a way to contain the Thunder’s Paul George who drained eight 3-pointers on his way to 36 points. It also didn’t help that Utah’s Mitchell was pulled from the game after stubbing his toe in the fourth quarter but the MRI on his foot came back negative which means he should be ready for Game 2.
Meanwhile, the Oklahoma City Thunder had reeled off three straight wins to cap off the regular season and they will be delighted with 116-108 win over the Jazz on Sunday. Carmelo Anthony got off to a quick start and finished with 15 points, three steals and two blocks while Russell Westbrook poured in 29 points with 13 rebounds and eight assists, but the game changer was Paul George who tied a franchise playoff-record with eight 3-pointers to finish with 36 points on 13 of 20 shooting. As a team, the Thunder shot 48 percent from the field and 14 of 29 from the three-point line as they sprung to life after falling into an early 16-4 deficit in the first quarter before cruising in a high-scoring second half.
Looking at the betting trends, the Jazz are 6-3 ATS in their last nine Conference Quarterfinals and 12-6 ATS in their last 18 road games. Meanwhile, the Thunder are 1-4-1 ATS in their last six home games and 6-17 ATS in their last 23 against the NBA Northwest.
Head to head, the home team is 19-8 ATS in the last 27 meetings, the Jazz are 1-5 ATS in the last six meetings in Oklahoma City and 3-5 ATS in the last eight meetings overall.
The Jazz will be disappointed with their defense in Game 1 as they really couldn’t find a way to stop George who just shot over outstretched defenders all night. The good news is that Mitchell has been confirmed to play in Game 2 which is a relief because he looked great in his playoff debut, but I just don't know if the Jazz can stop the Thunder if they start heating up from the three again. I was worried about George's shooting slump coming into the playoffs but he looks to be back to his old self so I'm taking the Thunder to get the win and cover again.