Rockets Defense Dominates Jazz To Take Game One
HOUSTON, Texas – The Houston Rockets displayed impressive defense throughout and took Game 1 from the Utah Jazz with a 122-90 win.
Rudy Gobert led the Jazz with 22 points and 12 rebounds, Donovan Mitchell chipped in 19 points on 7-of-18 shooting and Ricky Rubio contributed 15 points and 6 assists.
The Rockets were led by James Harden with 29 points and 10 assists. All five starters for Houston reached double figures.
The Jazz turned the ball over 18 times, while the Rockets only committed 10 miscues.
Defense Strong For Rockets
Six minutes into the game, Utah made it an emphasis to attack the paint and get their points inside. They didn’t attempt a three-pointer to that point. Rubio was particularly aggressive with six points.
The Jazz were 6-for-7 from the field. Houston was balanced with their shot selections coming inside and from the perimeter.
Following the timeout, Harden heated up with 9 points to give the Rockets a 26-19 lead with 3 minutes left in the opening quarter.
In the second quarter, Utah pulled within four points before the Rockets pushed the lead back out to eight with six minutes left.
The Rockets went on a 14-4 run to take a 17 point lead with 2:30 left in the first half led by Harden and P.J. Tucker.
Houston took a 59-44 lead at the half.
Rubio was the only Jazz player to reach double figures with 13 points. Harden led the Rockets with 17 points and 7 assists.
Glimpse Of Hope Turns To Rockets Domination
The Jazz made their halftime adjustments with a 10-3 run to start the third quarter and cut the Rockets lead to 62-54 with 9:19 left in the third and ultimately trimmed the deficit to five before Houston made their adjustments.
Utah outscored the Rockets 27-24 in the third quarter, Houston’s lead was 83-71.
Houston started the fourth quarter on a 7-0 run to push their advantage to 17, 92-75.
The Rockets took over for the rest of the game to take Game 1.
Houston leads the series 1-0 in the best-of-seven series. Game 2 will be in Houston on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. on TNT.