love being out here with my teammates. So, it's great," Brady

On Saturday Youth B.J. Hill Jersey , Thunder forward Paul George told reporters about an alter-ego he calls ”Playoff P.” On Sunday, he gave the media, his teammates and the Utah Jazz a formal introduction.

He scored 36 points to help Oklahoma City defeat Utah 116-108 in Game 1 of their Western Conference playoff series Sunday night.

”That’s his new name?” seemingly perplexed teammate Carmelo Anthony asked with a smile.

George lived up to it. He set an Oklahoma City playoff record with eight 3-pointers, blowing past the previous mark of five. He made eight of 11 shots from long range, and 13 of 20 shots overall.

It was his first playoff game with the Thunder since being acquired in a trade with the Indiana in the offseason. He had averaged more than 27 points per game in the playoffs for the Pacers the past two years.

”I’m going to bring it to that level every night,” George said. ”Obviously, I was hot tonight, but that’s the level I’m going to bring every night.”

Russell Westbrook had 29 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists and Anthony added 15 points for the Thunder, who will host Game 2 on Wednesday.

Westbrook, who seemingly was Oklahoma City’s only scoring option for much of last season, appreciated the help.

”When he’s aggressive Dak Prescott Cowboys Jersey , man, it changes the game for us,” Westbrook said. ”You saw that tonight. He had it going. Our job is to make sure we find him, make it easy for him. As long as he stays aggressive, we’ll be a better team.”

Many of George’s makes were contested. His success made it difficult for the Jazz to cover other players.

”He made a couple and we changed up what we were doing, and he went to something else,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. ”He went to pick-and-roll and he made a couple more, and then we tried to take him and he passed the ball.”

Utah doesn’t expect George to keep making those tough shots.

”If those shots start to affect you, then the whole game plan goes away,” said rookie Donovan Mitchell, who led the Jazz with 27 points and 10 rebounds. ”So we just kept sticking with it, and hopefully Cheap Alex Cappa Jersey , he doesn’t go 8 for 11 the rest of the series. But we played great defense, and we are proud of that.”

Mitchell left the game in the second half with left foot soreness. He returned, but played sporadically.

”I feel fine,” he said. ”Think I just stubbed my toe. Nothing major.”

Rudy Gobert scored 14 points, and Joe Ingles and Jae Crowder each added 13 for the Jazz.

The Thunder recovered from a 16-4 deficit to tie it at 25 at the end of the first quarter. Oklahoma City led 54-48 at halftime behind 20 points from George and 14 from Westbrook.

George hit his seventh 3-pointer to push Oklahoma City’s lead to 79-66. He hit a deep 2-pointer to close the quarter and give the Thunder an 81-72 lead.

Alex Abrines hit two 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter to give Oklahoma City a 92-80 lead and force Utah to call timeout. The Thunder held off a surge in the final minute.

TIP-INS

Jazz: Mitchell made his first four shots, but just one of six the rest of the first half. … Made just eight of 22 shots in the second quarter. … Dante Exum and Alec Burks each scored 10 points.

Thunder: G Corey Brewer, who was questionable with a right knee sprain, started. … Anthony scored his 1,700th playoff point. … Oklahoma City made its first 17 free throws and didn’t miss one until the final minute.

QUOTABLE

Mitchell on why he was taken out of the game in the fourth quarter: ”I was just limping, so the trainers saw me limping and they thought I needed to come out, but I was just being a baby, so I’m good.”

STAT LINES

George’s outburst is significant because in Oklahoma City’s five-game playoff series with Houston last season Youth Tyquan Lewis Jersey , no Thunder player other than Westbrook scored more than 20 points in a game. Westbrook averaged 37.4 points in the series, but no other Thunder player averaged more than 11.6.

UP NEXT

Game 2 will be Wednesday night in Oklahoma City.



Tom Brady calls it "ridiculous" to suggest the suspension of Patriots receiver Julian Edelman is tied to the quarterback's personal health coach.

The questions about Alex Guerrero on Saturday prompted Brady to abruptly end his first media availability of training camp.

"I have no comments, just ridiculous. I'm out," Brady said before walking away.

Edelman brushed aside a similar question in his first comments since receiving his four-game ban for a drug-policy violation.

"What's in the past is in the past. I love Alex and ultimately I'm worried about just going out here and playing football," Edelman said. "I'm not here to talk about or make a headline or something."

Edelman, tight end Rob Gronkowski and former Patriots receiver Danny Amendola are among several Patriots who have also worked or consulted with Guerrero.

Edelman will begin serving his suspension at the start of the regular season. He can practice with the team and play in preseason games.

Brady provided another short response when asked if there was tension between him and coach Bill Belichick this summer.

"I have no thoughts," Brady said.

Brady has relied on a fitness and nutrition program developed by Guerrero since 2004. The pair also partnered in opening Brady's TB12 Sports Therapy Center, which is adjacent to the Patriots' Gillette Stadium facility.

In January, Patriots CEO Robert Kraft, Belichick and Brady released a statement calling an ESPN report "flat-out inaccurate" that said there had been disputes between team officials and Guerrero regarding player-medical affairs.

Brady will turn 41 next week and has credited Guerrero's program with helping to extend his NFL career, which is entering its 19th season. As part of the strict regimen devised by Guerrero, Brady eats a mostly plant-based diet during the season.

Despite skipping the voluntary portion of spring workouts Authentic Ryan McLeod Jersey , Brady said his focus and commitment to football remain high.

"Football is very, very important to me. It always has been, and I love being out here with my teammates. So, it's great," Brady said. "As you get older you have different responsibilities, and I think that's just part of life. Everyone's got to deal with those responsibilities differently and what works for them.

"Football is a huge part of my life. I love being here with my teammates and playing, and hopefully we can have a great season."

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