SALT LAKE CITY — After Game 5 between the Jazz and Thunder, the mayor of Oklahoma City quickly went to work on an interesting task.
“I’ll be issuing pardons to Thunder fans who left in the third quarter,” OKC Mayor David Holt wrote on Twitter. “I just need a note on my desk at City Hall that says, ‘I won’t give up again.’ #ThunderUp”
Nobody can blame OKC fans for giving up. The Jazz took a commanding 71-45 lead in the third quarter and had a 97.1 percent probability of closing out this first-round series with 20 minutes remaining in the game, according to Inpredictable.com.
Although Jazz fans are still recovering from that stunning loss after what seemed a certain victory, Salt Lake City mayor Jackie Biskupski isn’t to a similar pardoning point in her city quite yet. Utah still has home-court advantage — and that has proven quite valuable (and deafening) — with Game 6 taking place at Vivint Arena on Friday night.
Even if they feel bummed after the defeat, Jazz fans can take hope in the fact that the fancy calculator at FiveThirtyEight.com gives Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, Derrick Favors, Joe Ingles & Co. a 79-percent chance of beating the Thunder and advancing to the second round.
There is certainly renewed hope in Oklahoma where former Jazz fan-favorite-turned-villain Enes Kanter blew into town to root for his old organization — and it's not the one that sits at the base of beautiful mountains.
“I am cheering for the Thunder,” Kanter, who ended up in OKC after demanding out of Utah a few years ago, told the Norman Transcript. “And I’m not cheering for the Utah Jazz.”
Turns out, Holt enlisted Kanter, whom the Thunder ended up trading to New York, to help him issue pardons.
He’ll have to pardon Jazz fans if they’re not amused.