The match-up in the middle between Steven Adams and Rudy Gobert was always expected to be a physical one.
And game two of the Oklahoma City Thunder's first-round series against the Utah Jazz didn't disappoint in that sense.
But for Adams, it was an outing to forget as he was hampered by early foul trouble, before fouling out in the vital stages of the fourth quarter.
The Kiwi picked up his sixth and final foul with the Thunder down by two points with just under three minutes remaining in the game, and Utah went on to win 102-95.
Adams picked up two fouls in the first quarter - both soft infringements against Gobert - and didn't play much of a part in the first half of the game. He had some impact in the second half, but was held to just five shots, finishing with nine points and seven rebounds in 22 minutes.
Having won the first game, the Thunder looked likely to go up 2-0 in a playoff series for the first time since 2013, but a cold fourth quarter cost them.
Russell Westbrook (19 points, nine rebounds and 13 assists), Carmelo Anthony (17 points, nine rebounds) and Paul George (18 points and 10 rebounds) combined to shoot 0-14 in the final 12 minutes of action, as the Jazz held the Thunder to just 16 points in the final quarter while scoring 28 of their own.
For the Jazz, their starting five showed up big time to level the series. Gobert finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds, power forward Derrick Favors had 20 points and 16 rebounds, while the backcourt duo of Donovan Mitchell and Ricky Rubio combined for 50 points. While starting small forward Joe Ingles didn't make much of a splash on the offensive end, he was strong on defence and finished with a game-high plus/minus of +21.
With the series levelled at 1-1, the teams will head to Utah for games three and four. Game three is scheduled for Sunday.
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