Ricky Rubio has been one of the NBA’s most exciting guards since he joined the league in 2011.
Unfortunately, since he’s spent the bulk of his career with the Minnesota Timberwolves, we haven’t seen Rubio in the playoffs until this season, his first with the Utah Jazz.
We like what we see.
Rubio lit up the Vivint Smart Home Arena crowd and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday to the tune of 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a 115-102 Jazz win. The win gave Utah a 2-1 series lead to maintain home court advantage after stealing a game in Oklahoma City.
Rubio did most of his damage in the the first half where he tallied 19 points, six assists and six rebounds. He caught fire in the second quarter, scoring 14-of-15 Jazz points in the midst of a 22-4 Utah run that proved to be the difference in the game.
But he made plenty of big plays in the second half, including this three-point heave to beat the third quarter buzzer
Several of Rubio’s assists came courtesy of Joe Ingles, who caught fire from distance, scoring 21 points including 5-of-10 three-pointers. Meanwhile Rudy Gobert tallied 18 points and 12 rebounds while rookie phenom Donovan Mitchell had another big game with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
For the Thunder, it was a second straight collapse in the fourth quarter. Oklahoma City cut Utah’s 14-point third quarter lead in half before giving up a 13-0 run that ended all hopes of a comeback.
Paul George led OKC with 23 points, while Russell Westbrook logged 14 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. He also turned the ball over eight times and posted a -25 in the plus-minus column.
With a little more than two minutes left regulation, Thunder coach Billy Donovan waved the white flag, pulling Westbrook, George and Carmelo Anthony from the game.
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