Donovan Mitchell tops an impressive playoff record held by Michael Jordan

Paul George and his alter ego Playoff P carried the Oklahoma City Thunder to a Game 1 victory over the Utah Jazz. Mandatory Credit USATSI  TBN Media Illustration

Donovan Mitchell tops an impressive playoff record held by Michael Jordan

The Jazz had been trailing most of the second half but outscored the Thunder 28-16 in the final quarter to earn the win on the road.

In Los Angeles last April, the Jazz surged ahead in the third quarter and withstood the Clippers' mild rally.

"He came in and said, "Hey, we've got another game to play" and I think that is a testament to his leadership and character", Mitchell said.

Imagine the Jazz's winning a road playoff game while going almost six minutes without scoring.

"The strength of our team is our team", Jazz coach Quin Snyder, reciting his squad's team first mantra, told reporters.

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And the Thunder crumbled. During that period, the superstar triumvirate of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony took turns in missing shots. Understandably, that wasn't good enough. That's accurate. This victory required some of the best stuff from a bunch of Jazzmen.

The Jazz - led by Mitchell's 28 points, 22 points from Ricky Rubio, and 20 points and 16 rebounds from Derrick Favors - has knotted the series 1-1 as the series shifts back to Utah. This effort was even better.

Donovan Mitchell exploded onto the National Basketball Association scene this year and was a rookie sensation for the Utah Jazz throughout the regular season. From the first minute to the 48th in these National Basketball Association playoffs, it's the team that capitalizes on those little things and understands how they pile up that typically comes away victorious. Steven Adams also had a minimal impact on this game as he battled foul trouble and eventually fouled out.

Still, Oklahoma City outscored Utah 33-21 in the third quarter, a period of notorious struggles throughout the regular season, when opponents outscored OKC by 4.5 points per 100 possessions during thirds, 24th in the National Basketball Association.

Westbrook had just 19 points and Anthony 17 points.

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This matchup will now switch to Salt Lake City for game three on Saturday night in front of what will be a boisterous crowd at the Vivint Smart Home Arena.

But if the Jazz are able to play defense like they did down the stretch of Game 2, that's going to be a tough task.

As the Thunder tried to claw back, three-pointers from George, Anthony and Jerami Grant all missed, preventing any chance of an improbably last-minute comeback. Not much. Not yet.

Oklahoma City made just 6 of 27 field-goal attempts in the fourth quarter to finish at 40 percent. The Jazz ended up putting together an 18-3 scoring run that spanned the end of the third and start of the fourth quarters, taking a 5-point lead with 8:44 to go.

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