Utah Jazz's Lauri Markkanen Lights up Oklahoma City Thunder in OT Win

The Utah Jazz outlasted the Oklahoma City Thunder 120-119 on Thursday night, and they had a colossal game from their big man to thank. Lauri Markkanen accumulated 43 points, 10 rebounds, and two assists in a little over 40 minutes.

Markkanen hit 15 of his 28 field goal attempts and all 10 of his free throw attempts. It was his second 40-point effort of the season and his 23rd double-double. He's been a pleasant surprise in his debut season with the Jazz, averaging 25.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game with a .657 true shooting percentage, all of which are career highs. He was a deserving All-Star selection this year.

Markkanen arrived with the Jazz as part of the package that landed the Cleveland Cavaliers longtime Jazz star Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell has been sensational, averaging 27.2 points per game, but Markkanen's sudden emergence as a star in his own right must absolutely delight the Jazz. They also received Colin Sexton and multiple first-round picks as part of the deal.

The Jazz were expected to tank the 2022-23 season after parting ways with both Mitchell and Rudy Gobert this past offseason, but they find themselves a surprisingly credible 30-31 and ninth in the Western Conference. They may not be a contender this year, but considering the mountain of assets they have coming their way, they're in a good spot.

The Jazz face the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night.

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