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Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
Game 6 of the NBA playoffs first round series at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Friday, April 27, 2018.

SALT LAKE CITY — For the second straight season, the Utah Jazz are headed to the Western Conference semifinals.

With starting point guard Ricky Rubio out (he left the game with 4:52 left in the first quarter with a hamstring injury), the Jazz struggled offensively for most of the first half.

Donovan Mitchell led the charge as the Jazz rallied to tie the game at halftime and then built a double-digit lead in the third quarter. Mitchell was slowed by a fifth foul, but the Jazz held on to win 96-91.

Utah will play Game 1 of the next series against the Houston Rockets on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. MDT.

Turning point: With time running down in the second half, Donovan Mitchell made a driving layup to tie the game at 41-41 and give the Jazz momentum going into the second half.

The hero: Donovan Mitchell went toe-to-toe with Russell Westbrook, scoring a team-high 38 points on 14 of 26 shooting. Westbrook led the Thunder with 46 points on 18 of 43 shooting.

3 keys:

• Mitchell is the first rookie since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1970 to score at least 20 points in his first six playoff games.

• The Jazz started the game ice-cold scoring just 18 points in the first quarter, the team’s lowest total for a quarter in the series.

• Paul George struggled, shooting just 2 of 16 from the field for five points.

Series status:

Utah wins 4-2

Game 1: OKC 116, Utah 108

Game 2: Utah 102, OKC 95

Game 3: Utah 115, OKC 102

Game 4: Utah 113, OKC 96

Game 5: OKC 107, Utah 99

Game 6: Utah 96, OKC 91

Western Conference semifinals

Game 1: Utah at Houston, 1:30 p.m.