The Utah Jazz grabbed a commanding 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder after a convincing 113-96 win.
Rookie guard Donovan Mitchell once again led the charge offensively, scoring a game-high 33 points to push the Jazz to a huge victory, moving one-step closer to secure a spot in the Western Conference semifinals. According to Jazz PR, Mitchell’s huge outing has set a team franchise record for most points scored in a playoff game by a rookie, surpassing Hall of Famer Karl Malone’s previous mark.
With 33 points tonight, Donovan Mitchell has set a Jazz rookie postseason single-game scoring record, passing Karl Malone who tallied 31 points on 4/20/86 at DAL #TakeNote
— Utah Jazz PR (@UtahJazzPR) April 24, 2018
Mitchell displayed much poise in the pivotal contest, keeping the Thunder at bay behind a double-digit deficit. It marked his fourth straight 20-point outing in as many games while averaging 27.5 points on 45.3 percent shooting from the field with 8.5 rebounds per contest.
The 21-year-old has shown no fear or shuttering in his play in the postseason as he has only grown more confident and productive with each passing game. Mitchell has comfortably stepped into a top scoring-option role without any hesitation while often times being the best player on the floor on both sides. His stellar play has now helped pushed the Jazz to just one game away from reaching the second round of the playoffs for the second straight year.
There is plenty to be optimistic about for the Jazz with their balanced play on both ends of the court behind their promising core groups play. The added pressure of the playoffs hasn’t faltered them in any manner with their collective performance improving with each contest. Utah will now have the difficult task of attempting to close out the series in Oklahoma City in Game 5 in what should be a raucous environment.
This will once again likely require another big outing from Mitchell to lead the way to get by the Thunder one final time in the playoffs.