If going down 3-1 to the Utah Jazz in their NBA playoff series wasn’t bad enough for the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night, they also found themselves on the receiving end of abuse from a former presidential candidate.
As Russell Westbrook picked up a fourth foul in the first-half – players leave the game if they get six – the TV cameras panned to Mitt Romney, with a Jazz jersey over his button-down shirt, mocking the Thunder guard. If Romney was attempting to play mind games with Westbrook it didn’t work – the reigning NBA MVP went on to record a double double in his team’s loss. In the past Romney has broadcast his love of the Boston Celtics but is now campaigning for a place in the Utah senate, which may explain his backing of the Jazz.
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Thunder-Jazz had everything.
Even Mitt Romney taunting Russ ? pic.twitter.com/oLXND9ZjjP
April 24, 2018
On the court, it was the Jazz who triumphed on the night. For a second straight game, a late second-quarter surge by Utah carried over into the second half and it allowed the Jazz to pull away for a 113-96 victory. The Jazz used a 20-3 run spanning the end of the second quarter and the start of the third to break open the game. Game 5 in the best-of-seven playoff is Wednesday night.
Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney vs Utah Senate candidate Mitt Romney pic.twitter.com/4liTzrmAj8
April 24, 2018
Physical play and heated emotions characterized the game. Both teams picked up two technical fouls before half-time. Jae Crowder was ejected after a technical foul with 5:30 remaining in the fourth quarter. “That’s just what you’re going to get with a playoff team,” Thunder’s Paul George said. “It’s playoff basketball. It’s going to get chippy. It’s going to get physical. We’re in it for the fight”.
Donovan Mitchell had 33 points and seven rebounds to lead the Jazz to their third straight win in the series. Joe Ingles added 20 points, hitting five three-pointers.
Mitchell’s willingness to attack the rim put the Thunder on their heels throughout the second half. “He’s done a good job of getting in there and finishing or dropping it off,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “It’s an important part of what we do. He’s our most dynamic offensive player.”