George scores 36, leads Thunder to 116-108 win over Jazz
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, right, shoots as Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors (15) defends in the first half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series in Oklahoma City, Sunday, April 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
By Cliff Brunt, Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Paul George scored 36 points to help the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the Utah Jazz 116-108 in Game 1 of their Western Conference playoff series on Sunday night (Monday, PHL time).
George set an Oklahoma City playoff record with eight three-pointers, blowing past the previous record of five. He made 8-of-11 shots from long range, and 13-of-20 shots overall. It was his first playoff game with the Thunder since being acquired in a trade with the Indiana Pacers in the offseason.
Russell Westbrook had 29 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists and Carmelo Anthony added 15 points for the Thunder, who will host Game 2 on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time).
Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell had 27 points and 10 rebounds, but he left in the second half with left foot soreness. He returned in the fourth quarter but was noticeably hobbling.
Rudy Gobert scored 14 points, and Joe Ingles and Jae Crowder each added 13 for the Jazz.
The Thunder recovered from a 16-4 deficit to tie it at 25 at the end of the first quarter. Oklahoma City led 54-48 at halftime behind 20 points from George and 14 from Westbrook.
George hit his seventh three-pointer to push Oklahoma City's lead to 79-66. George hit a deep two-pointer to close the quarter and give the Thunder an 81-72 lead.
Alex Abrines hit two three-pointers early in the fourth quarter to give Oklahoma City a 92-80 lead and force Utah to call timeout. The Thunder held off a surge in the final minute.
Jazz: Mitchell made his first four shots, but just 1-of-6 the rest of the first half. ... Made just 8-of-22 shots in the second quarter.
Thunder: G Corey Brewer, who was questionable with a right knee sprain, started. ... Anthony scored his 1,700th playoff point. ... Oklahoma City made its first 17 free throws and didn't miss one until the final minute.
Game 2 will be Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) in Oklahoma City.