UTAH JAZZ

Utah To Face Houston In Opening Round Of Playoffs

Apr 10, 2019, 11:01 PM
Eric Gordon #10 of the Houston Rockets drives to the basket defended by Ricky Rubio #3 of the Utah ...
Eric Gordon #10 of the Houston Rockets drives to the basket defended by Ricky Rubio #3 of the Utah Jazz in the second half at Toyota Center on October 24, 2018 in Houston, Texas (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – While the Utah Jazz were finishing up their game against the LA Clippers, their first-round postseason fate was sealed by a pair of improbable wins.

After both the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers pulled off comeback victories on Wednesday night, it became official. The fifth-seeded Jazz will face the Houston Rockets in the opening round of the playoffs with Houston holding home court advantage.

For most of the evening on Wednesday night it appeared that the Jazz would be facing Portland in the opening round. The Trail Blazers’ opponent, Sacramento, built a commanding 28-point lead, but Portland came back and won 136-131.

The other thing that had to happen to send Utah to Houston came to pass as the Nuggets came back to beat Minnesota 99-95.

Previewing The Rockets

It’s a rematch of the second round of last year’s playoffs for Utah and Houston. The Rockets eliminated the Jazz in five games to end Utah’s 2017-18 season.

The year, the two teams have split the season series. Houston won the first two games with a 100-89 win on Oct. 24 and a 118-91 victory on Dec. 6. The Jazz responded with a 102-97 win on Dec. 17 and a 125-98 victory on Feb. 2.

The Rockets have been the hottest team in the NBA with a 20-6 record since the All-Star break.

Houston’s star player, James Harden, was the league’s MVP last season and has been even better this year. He’s averaging an NBA-best 36.1 points per game with 7.5 assists and 6.6 rebounds.

Times and dates for the opening round series have not yet been announced.

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