At first blush, the Jazz giving up a 25-point third quarter lead has to rank among one of the greatest collapses in recent playoff history. However, one must take into account the unique circumstances that led to the lead growing that large in the first place.
What I’m talking about is the fact that Jae Crowder had contributed 23 points to his team’s efforts at the time the lead was at its largest, even though Crowder had been sucking mega dong for the first four games of the series. Here are his statlines in case you need a reminder:
Game 1: 28 minutes, 3-of-10 shooting, 13 points
Game 2: 19 minutes, B0-of-3 shooting, 1 point
Game 3: 22 minutes, 2-of-5 shooting, 4 points
Game 4: 28 minutes, 2-of-10 shooting, 6 points
Simply put, it is UNFAIR that Crowder scored so many points in the first thirty or so minutes of this game. That visceral feeling of injustice that all Thunder fans were feeling as he drained triple after triple? That was a justified feeling. He pretty much equalled his scoring output for the ENTIRE SERIES in those thirty minutes. That’s ridiculously unfair and it almost cost the Thunder the game.
The gigantic swing in the other direction was also unfair (although less so because Statpadbrook is prone to high-scoring statpad games), but the unfairnesses cancelled each other out. Frankly, the Jazz DESERVED to lose this one because there’s no way they anticipated that Crowder would go nuts like that. That wasn’t their game plan. I am being serious as hell right now.