Thunder take advantage of Rudy Gobert’s foul trouble in comeback win
Wednesday night’s comeback by the Oklahoma City Thunder against the Utah Jazz was more proof of how impactful Rudy Gobert is on defense.
The Jazz were up by as much as 25 points (71-56) in the third quarter of Game 5 against the Thunder. Just when it looked like Utah would end the series in five games and advance to the second round, everything changed.
The Thunder put up 37 points in the third quarter and tied things up at 78 entering the final period. Most of their comeback was mounted when Gobert was out of the game due to foul trouble.
Utah was up 65-46 when Gobert exited the game after picking up his fourth foul with 9:23 left in the third quarter. He sat for about four minutes and when he re-entered, the score was 73-60. He picked up his fifth foul a little over a minute later. Utah was up 74-64 at that point.
Gobert finally returned with just under eight minutes left in that game, but by that point, the Thunder had claimed an 88-87 lead.
With Gobert spending so much time on the bench due to foul trouble, the Thunder ended up leading the Jazz in points in the paint (44 to 32). Just in case you weren’t convinced about his defensive impact before, you should be now. This is exactly why the NBA’s block leader last year was voted first-team All-Defense.