Balanced attack leads Jazz past Oklahoma City, 110-104

Sports

OKLAHOMA CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Donovan Mitchell started slow, but finished strong.

Mitchell scored six straight points in the final minute and the Utah Jazz held off the Oklahoma City Thunder 110-104 on Wednesday night.

Mitchell had a rough shooting night before the final surge, hitting just four of his first 14 shots. He finished with 13 points.

“It’s what I do,” Mitchell said. “At the end of the day, sometimes you just got to go out there and just get it. My team trusts me, I trust myself, I put the work in for those moments and never let the moment get too big. I missed the game winner the other night, so you got to respond.”

Jordan Clarkson scored 20 points off the bench to lead Utah. Mike Conley added 18 points, and Rudy Gobert had 15 points and 17 rebounds.

“We were just moving the ball, finding the next open man,” Clarkson said. “A lot of us were passing up good shots to get great ones. There’s so many of us that can make plays and it makes the game so much easier.”

Rudy Gay contributed 15 points, while Royce O’Neale led the defensive effort with five steals.

Neither team led by more than eight points the entire game.

Lu Dort led the Thunder with 27 points, hitting five 3-pointers. Josh Giddey had 19 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.

Clarkson hit back-to-back shots after the Thunder took their last lead of the night at 94-93 midway through the final period. Gobert followed with a steal and slam and it looked as if Utah had some breathing room.

But the young Thunder rallied.

Giddey hit a 3-pointer with 2:26 remaining to tie at 101.

Conley put the Jazz back in front for good with a short jumper, and Mitchell took over from that point. He put back his own miss under the basket, hit two free throws on the next trip downcourt and then finished the run with a jumper that gave the Jazz their final margin. When Dort was called for an offensive foul with :40 seconds left, Oklahoma City challenged and lost, effectively ending the Thunder’s comeback.

Despite the battle the Jazz faced from the young Thunder squad, Mitchell thought his team did some things that will help them as the season continues.

“It was a good game. I don’t think the score reflected the way we played as a group,” Mitchell said.

“We had some breakdowns, but we had a lot of good things that we can look back on and be proud of. They hit some shots but to close out the way we did is what we wanted.”

Hassan Whiteside was ejected in the first quarter for saying something to the referee. He is the sixth Jazz player to get ejected this season.

“I guess we’re just waking up on the wrong side of the pillow,” Mitchell explained.

The Jazz next host New Orleans Friday night.

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