Be Social
Betting Tools

George scores 36, OKC tune out Jazz

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) On Saturday, Thunder forward Paul George told reporters about an alter-ego he calls ''Playoff P.'' On Sunday, he gave the media, his teammates and the Utah Jazz a formal introduction.


He scored 36 points to help Oklahoma City defeat Utah 116-108 in Game 1 of their Western Conference playoff series Sunday night.

''That's his new name?'' seemingly perplexed teammate Carmelo Anthony asked with a smile.

George lived up to it. He set an Oklahoma City playoff record with eight 3-pointers, blowing past the previous mark of five. He made eight 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 in the offseason. He had averaged more than 27 points per game in the playoffs for the Pacers the past two years.

''I'm going to bring it to that level every night,'' George said. ''Obviously, I was hot tonight, but that's the level I'm going to bring every night.''

Russell Westbrook had 29 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists and Anthony added 15 points for the Thunder, who will host Game 2 on Wednesday.

Westbrook, who seemingly was Oklahoma City's only scoring option for much of last season, appreciated the help.

''When he's aggressive, man, it changes the game for us,'' Westbrook said. ''You saw that tonight. He had it going. Our job is to make sure we find him, make it easy for him. As long as he stays aggressive, we'll be a better team.''

Many of George's makes were contested. His success made it difficult for the Jazz to cover other players.

''He made a couple and we changed up what we were doing, and he went to something else,'' Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. ''He went to pick-and-roll and he made a couple more, and then we tried to take him and he passed the ball.''

Utah doesn't expect George to keep making those tough shots.

''If those shots start to affect you, then the whole game plan goes away,'' said rookie Donovan Mitchell, who led the Jazz with 27 points and 10 rebounds. ''So we just kept sticking with it, and hopefully, he doesn't go 8 for 11 the rest of the series. But we played great defense, and we are proud of that.''

Mitchell left the game in the second half with left foot soreness. He returned, but played sporadically.

''I feel fine,'' he said. ''Think I just stubbed my toe. Nothing major.''

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 3-pointer to push Oklahoma City's lead to 79-66. He hit a deep 2-pointer to close the quarter and give the Thunder an 81-72 lead.

Alex Abrines hit two 3-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 one of six the rest of the first half. ... Made just eight of 22 shots in the second quarter. ... Dante Exum and Alec Burks each scored 10 points.

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.


Mitchell on why he was taken out of the game in the fourth quarter: ''I was just limping, so the trainers saw me limping and they thought I needed to come out, but I was just being a baby, so I'm good.''


George's outburst is significant because in Oklahoma City's five-game playoff series with Houston last season, no Thunder player other than Westbrook scored more than 20 points in a game. Westbrook averaged 37.4 points in the series, but no other Thunder player averaged more than 11.6.


Game 2 will be Wednesday night in Oklahoma City.


Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter:


More NBA basketball:

Copyright 2019 by STATS LLC.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express
written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.

· News: Playoff Betting Results
· Lawrence: Playoff Zig-Zag Theory
· News: First Round Series Odds
· ASA: Analytics back Bucks, Nuggets
· Spurs bounce back, top Nuggets
· 76ers cruise past Nets without Embiid
· Thunder's Paul George out of sync
· Pacers' resiliency faces tough test
Why Buy Picks From
NBA Pro Basketball Expert Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NBA Hot Streaks
11-1 L12, 17-3 Streak, +2,130 TY
9-1 G-Play Run, 14-5 L19 Picks
7-3 L4 Days, 11-5 Run, 14-6 GPlays
+2,735 NBA Net Profits TY
2-0 Y'day, 39-20 L59 Over/Unders
6-3 L9 Picks, +1,087 This Season
+2,148 Overall This Season
4-0 L4 G-Plays, +2,276 This Year
27-11 L38 NBA Guarantees
+1,719 Picks This Year
11-5 L16 Guaranteed Plays
57%, +1,722 Record This Season
3-1 L4 Playoff Picks
9-4 L13, 31-17 L48 Selections
10-4 L14 Picks, 60% This Year
5-2 Postseason Record
7-3 Picks, 16-3 Totals, 13-6 G-Plays
9-4 L13 Guaranteed Plays
NBA Pro Basketball Expert Sports Picks
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Doc's Sports + 2735
Antony Dinero + 2276
Joe Nelson + 2148
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Vince Akins + 600
Alex Smart + 468
Antony Dinero + 300
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Kyle Hunter 60 %
Vince Akins 58 %
Joe Nelson 58 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Nelson + 2496
Vince Akins + 1277
Kyle Hunter + 1044
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bill Marzano + 1529
Alex Smart + 1486
Vince Akins + 1317
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 2746
Micah Roberts + 1724
Chip Chirimbes + 1273
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, SAVE 10% off a Live Odds Pro subscription, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership