Aussies in NBA: Joe Ingles catches fire against Thunder
Joe Ingles' hot-shooting from beyond the arc helped the Utah Jazz silence the Oklahoma City Thunder and record an impressive 96-87 home win.
The South Australian who has been in outstanding form across their first three games, added a team-high 19 points that included a red-hot 5-of-9 from deep, with 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, in his best individual outing of the season to date.
His performance against the Thunder was the third straight game in scoring in double-digits to open the season. In those games, he has drained three or more triples, including 11 points on 2-of-5 three-pointers in a win against the Nuggets, and in going 4-of-5 from beyond the arc for 16 points in a loss against the Timberwolves.
The Jazz played unselfish, team-oriented basketball and they clearly had the Thunder on their back foot for the majority of the game. Ingles received great support from Rudy Gobert (16 points and 13 rebounds), Ricky Rubio (16 points, 5 assists) and Derrick Favours (13 points), whereas the Thunder had their woes. While Paul George (26 points) and Carmelo Anthony (22 points) got their hauls, Russell Westbrook was restricted to just 6 points on a paltry 2-of-11 shooting.
Ingles' confidence was so sky-high, that he found some time to trash talk former Adelaide 36ers import and now Thunder player Terrance Ferguson.
With the win, the Jazz improved to 2-1 and an early season win against one of their highly fancied Western Conference rivals.
Such has been the scorching accuracy of Ingles three-point shooting across the first three games of the season, the Australian Boomer is shooting an outstanding 70% from downtown to open the 2017-18 NBA season after connecting on a sizzling 44% from three-point territory last season. Ingles is also now averaging a career-best 12.5 points, 4 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game, and clearly enjoying his time as a starter.
Already a fan favourite, the long-term success of the Jazz may well hinge on whether Ingles can maintain his outstanding early season form. For now, let's just enjoy his deadly accurate three-point shooting.