The Oklahoma City Thunder’s season came crashing down on Saturday with an 96-91 Game 6 loss and elimination at the hands of the Utah Jazz. The loss — to a team with visibly less star power — was a disappointing first-round exit few saw coming at the beginning of the year.
OKC’s early exit spelled the end of a season that had high expectations from the get-go.
Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz were just too much for the Thunder to handle all season, but especially in Game 6. Mitchell’s 38 points led Utah for the game and his massive third quarter is what ultimately put the Jazz in the drivers seat. His third quarter started with 10-for-10 run for him and he finished with 22 points in those 12 minutes alone.
For OKC, Russell Westbrook shot the ball 46 times in Game 6, finishing with 46 points as well. It may be an ugly stat line to some, but he was definitely the motor that kept the Thunder going. Paul George shot 2-of-15 and that will leave plenty of questions for him as he now heads into a summer of free agency.
The Thunder never looked like the better team against the Jazz. A team with three all-stars had little-to-no cohesion on the court. Even when they came back from down 25 to win Game 5, there was little solace to be taken. They had fallen behind 25 points in the first place. Utah’s defense — specifically, Rudy Gobert — posed problems all over for OKC. There were no well-rounded attacks; if Russ or George didn’t go off, the Thunder lost.