SALT LAKE CITY -- With 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, Ricky Rubio became the first Jazz player to record a postseason triple-double since John Stockton in 2001, as Utah took a 2-1 series lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder with a 115-102 win on Saturday.
"Having my name next to his name is an honor," Rubio said of Stockton. "I don't know what else to say. It's huge. Have huge respect for him, and playing here is great because I know how important a point guard he is for this franchise."
Rubio sparked a 20-4 run in the first half to overcome a 12-point deficit, hitting a flurry of midrange jumpers as the Thunder sagged off the point guard. But Oklahoma City counterpart Russell Westbrook defiantly proclaimed there will be no more of that in Game 4 on Monday in Salt Lake City.
"He made some shots," Westbrook said. "Too comfortable. But I'm gonna shut that s--- off next game though. Guarantee that."
The proclamation prompted a response from Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell.
🤐— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) April 22, 2018
Rubio, who has quietly improved his shooting this season, struggled in Game 1, going just 5-of-18 as the Thunder schemed to force him to take midrange shots. In Game 2, Rubio hit just 6-of-16, but he knocked down 5-of-8 from 3. And in Game 3, Rubio hit 5-of-5 on midrange jumpers.
"I think the first two games, I wasn't being effective in the midrange area," Rubio said. "It's been something I've been working on. I felt good about it, but it wasn't going in.
"But tonight, it felt good seeing the first couple go in. It's just the way we played. We got open shots, and it's easy to make shots when you are open."
Rubio's triple-double broke the longest drought in the NBA, according to ESPN Stats & Information research, as it was the first for the Utah franchise since Carlos Boozer pulled off the feat in 2008. And it came against Westbrook, the NBA's triple-double king.
Asked if Rubio knew he was an assist short of the mark at the time, teammate Joe Ingles injected, "Hell yeah he did."
Rubio laughed and made sure to jab Ingles back.
"At one point, and Joe missed a layup, wide-open layup, and he didn't want me to get the triple-double," Rubio said, "but luckily I've got Rudy Gobert on my team too to help me get that."
Rubio outplayed the reigning MVP Westbrook, who finished with 14 points on 5-of-17 shooting and eight turnovers. After scoring just two points on 0-of-4 shooting in the fourth quarter of Game 2, Westbrook didn't attempt a shot in the fourth in Game 3.
"Just gotta take what's given," Westbrook said. "I'm getting myself jumping in the air trying to look back to find [Paul George] and [Carmelo Anthony] and other guys on the floor. I've got to stay in attack mode and read my first option and go with that."
Westbrook was seen getting treatment on his upper body in the second half, but he said he wasn't dealing with any specific injury.
"A lot of s--- going on with my body," Westbrook said, "but that's everybody right now."
Billy Donovan offered his thoughts on Westbrook.
"I don't know," the Thunder coach said, "he seems fine to me."