Oklahoma City beat Utah 98-89 in the NBA regular season game of the 2018-2019 at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Oklahoma City, which has three wins and seven losses in the last 10 games, narrowed its lead to fourth behind third place Houston Rockets.
Oklahoma City was 41 win and 26 losses . Utah has 37 wins and 29 losses.
With the defeat of the day, Utah dropped from 6th to 8th in the Western conference.
Russell Westbrook scored 23 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists for Oklahoma City. Paul George had 14 points and 11 rebounds. Utah's Donovan Mitchell scored 25 points, five assists and five steals, but failed to keep the victory.
Dennis Schroder also scored 24 points.
At the beginning of the game, both teams were tense with their goals scored. Oklahoma City then took the lead with Steven Adams' bottom goal and Jerami Grant's three-point shot. But in the second half of the quarter, Oklahoma City was chased by Jae Crowder and Derrick Favors. Oklahoma City ended the first quarter with 22-21, allowing Jae Crowder to score a dunk, leaving 2.6 seconds left in the quarter.
Oklahoma City, which had the lead in the middle of the first quarter, kept winning after never allowing a reversal throughout the game.
In the second quarter, Oklahoma City continued their lead as the defense recovered. After that, Oklahoma City was unable to prevent the scorer on the outside and was chased to two points. However, in the middle of the quarter, Oklahoma City scored a scoreless draw with scores from Steven Adams and Terrance Ferguson. In the end, Oklahoma City finished with 50-37.
In the third quarter, Oklahoma City did not stop Rudy Gobert and Mitchell Donovan, and was driven to 54-49. Oklahoma City then made the difference with Dennis Schroder and Westbrook continuing to score. Dennis Schroder's three points and George's free throws just before the quarter ended, Oklahoma City finished the third quarter with 77-63.
In the fourth quarter Utah narrowed the score difference to a single digit as Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles scored in a row.
Oklahoma City, who scored five consecutive points for Mitchell with the start of the fourth quarter, allowed the pursuit. But in the middle of the quarter, Paul George and Dennis Schroder scored consecutively, And widened the gap to double digits. With two minutes remaining, Oklahoma City scored five runs in the series, and the scores ran to 96-84.
However, with three minutes remaining, Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook allowed three shots and a layup led Oklahoma City to Victory.
The downfall of Paul George, who has been mentioned as a candidate for MVP, is uncertain.
George, who was a big winner last month and won the western conference "Player of the Month" in February, has not been able to score recently.
In February, the average score was 44 percent, down to 30.6 percent in March.
George this season earned his career-high average of 28.4, making him the ace of Oklahoma City. In particular, he showed great performances with 30.8 points in December and 29.6 points in January.
George, who made such a special performance, was named MVP candidate along with James Harden (Houston) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee). However, after having suffered a shoulder injury, the feeling has cooled down and he is gradually getting away from MVP. He is trying to make up for the sluggishness with the free-throw acquisition ability (10.8 per game) after the injury, but the success rate is only 79.1%.
The team won the game after a fierce fight, but George's failure continued. He scored 34 minutes and 58 seconds in the game and he only managed to score 14 out of 11 in a row.
George, who missed three games due to shoulder injury at the end of February, has played his fourth game since returning, but has not been able to show his pre-injury status. His record in four games after returning was an average of 21.5 points and 9.0 rebounds. three-point shot success rate (22.9%).