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NBA playoffs: Jazz take 2-1 series lead over Thunder; Timberwolves defeat Rockets

Ricky Rubio had 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for Utah's first playoff triple-double in 17 years, and Donovan Mitchell added 22 points to lead the Jazz to a 115-102 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night and a 2-1 lead in their first-round series.

Joe Ingles, who had 21 points, made two 3-pointers around two free throws to spark a 13-0 surge that ended on Mitchell's 3 to put Utah up by 20 points in the fourth quarter. The big run was just par for the course in a series characterized by large runs by one team, then countered by the other.

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Rubio's triple-double was the first by a Jazz player in the postseason since John Stockton in the 2001 playoffs against Dallas.

Paul George scored 23 points and Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook and Raymond Felton each had 14 for the Thunder. Westbrook also had 11 rebounds and nine assists, just missing his ninth playoff triple-double but also had eight turnovers and shot 5 for 17.

Gobert's dunk and pair of free throws capped a 9-0 run in the third quarter to give Utah an 84-70 lead. Minutes later, Rubio hit a running 28-foot 3-pointer to make it 89-75 entering the final period.

The Jazz changed coverages on Westbrook throughout the game and surprised the perennial All-Star with different players in his expected passing lanes.

Utah also outrebounded the Thunder 48-33 and seemed much quicker to the loose balls in the midst of a charged atmosphere. The Jazz's hustle plays energized the packed arena festooned in the colors of Southern Utah - red, orange and yellow.

at Timberwolves 121, Rockets 105: Jimmy Butler hit four 3-pointers among his 28 points and Karl-Anthony Towns snapped back from a bad start to the series with 18 points and 16 rebounds, leading the Minnesota Timberwolves past the Houston Rockets 121-105 in Game 3 on Saturday night for their first postseason victory in 14 years.

Minnesota Timberwolves' Jimmy Butler shoots as Houston Rockets' Eric Gordon, center, and Nene attempt to contest the shot.
Minnesota Timberwolves' Jimmy Butler shoots as Houston Rockets' Eric Gordon, center, and Nene attempt to contest the shot. (Jim Mone / Associated Press)

Jeff Teague scored 23 points and Andrew Wiggins pitched in 20 points with another four 3-pointers, helping the Timberwolves match the fire-away Rockets from behind the arc and cruise down the stretch behind a 50 percent shooting performance.

Derrick Rose added 17 points off the bench for the Wolves, who will try to even the series with a win in Game 4 on Monday night.

James Harden led the way with 29 points, but Chris Paul fouled out with 17 points and the Rockets went just 15 for 41 from 3-point range.

The Rockets made four 3-pointers on their last seven possessions of the first half to turn an 11-point deficit to just one in less than 3{ minutes up until the break. Butler twisted his left ankle during that stretch, causing some brief anxiety in the arena. He didn't require, or accept, any medical attention and returned from the intermission without any hint that he was hurt.

at Pelicans 131, Trail Blazers 123: Anthony Davis scored 33 of his franchise playoff-record 47 points in the second half, and the New Orleans Pelicans completed a first-round playoff sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers with a 131-123 victory on Saturday.

New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) shoots against Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (27) during the second half.
New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) shoots against Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (27) during the second half. (Scott Threlkeld / Associated Press)

Jrue Holiday capped his 41-point performance with an 18-foot pull-up jumper that gave the Pelicans a six-point lead with 40 seconds left.

Rajon Rondo added 16 assists, and Davis also had 11 rebounds and three blocks for New Orleans, which is moving on to the second round of the playoffs for only the second time since the NBA returned to the city 16 seasons ago.

C.J. McCollum scored 38 for the Trail Blazers, which responded to a blowout loss in Game 3 by keeping Game 4 close until the final minute. Al-Farouq Aminu scored 27, Damian Lillard added 18 points and Jusuf Nurkic had 18 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out.

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76ers 106, at Heat 102: Ben Simmons had the first playoff triple-double by a rookie in nearly 40 years, JJ Redick scored 24 points and the Philadelphia 76ers outlasted the Miami Heat 106-102 on Saturday to move within a victory of the second round.

Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons shoots in the first quarter as Miami Heat forward James Johnson (16) defends.
Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons shoots in the first quarter as Miami Heat forward James Johnson (16) defends. (Joe Skipper / Associated Press)

The 76ers lead the Eastern Conference series 3-1 and can close out the Heat when play resumes in Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

Simmons became the first rookie since Magic Johnson in 1980 to post a playoff triple-double — 17 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists. Joel Embiid finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds for Philadelphia.

Dwyane Wade led all scorers with 25 points off the bench for the Heat, who led by 12 points in the second half before letting a game they almost certainly had to have slip away.

Wade carried the comeback effort, with the Heat down six and less than 2 minutes left. His three-point play cut the margin in half and his next two field goals got Miami within one each time.

The Heat got no closer.

Goran Dragic scored 20, James Johnson had 15 and Hassan Whiteside finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds for Miami, which now needs to pull off some history. The Heat have erased a 3-1 deficit only once, in 1997 against New York.

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