It was that kind of night for Rubio. Against the NBA’s triple-double king, it was Rubio who hit the magical trio of round numbers — 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists — outplaying Russell Westbrook, who had a strangely uncharacteristic off night (14 points on 5-of-17 shooting with eight turnovers) as the Utah Jazz took Game 3 over the Oklahoma City Thunder 115-102 to go up 2-1 in the series.
The Jazz have built a roster focused around team and togetherness with the mindset that any player can lift the group at any moment. With the way rookie Donovan Mitchell has exploded on his way to superstardom, it seemed like maybe the Jazz were outgrowing that.cheap nfl jerseys china But with their suffocating defense always present, and with Mitchell hitting some foul-trouble issues, it was Rubio who answered the call.
The critical moments of Rubio’s career night came in the second quarter when the Thunder were taking control on both ends, going up by 12 and flashing some dominance on both sides of the ball. Not much was really happening for Utah, and it wasn’t as if a light bulb clicked on over Rubio’s absolutely sensational samurai ponytail — it was more a reluctant takeover, with him accepting the open, midrange jumpers the Thunder presented and riding the wave of momentum from there.
“I think the first two games, I wasn’t being effective in the midrange area,” Rubio said. “It’s been something I’ve been working on. I felt good about, but it wasn’t going in; but tonight, it felt good seeing the first couple go in. It’s just the way we played. We got open shots, and it’s easy to make shots when you are open.”
It left multiple moments throughout the night for an outrageously charged-up home crowd — spread out in a glorious pattern of yellow, red and orange — to chant, “Ru-bi-o!” All that was missing was him crowing back at Peter Pan.
The Thunder have been backed up against a cliff a number of different times this season and always seemed to have just enough to hang on. This roster of top-heavy talent has confused and perplexed, even leaving a postseason appearance in doubt all the way up until the final week of the season. But the Thunder have always played it cool,authentic nfl jerseys believing in their top-line ability and veteran experience not to overreact and worry. Whether it’s a big win on the road against a contender or a stabilizing performance that re-grabs the attention of the league and restores belief in themselves, the Thunder have had a response all season long when they had to have one.