National Basketball Association
Utah at Houston
When: 9:30 PM ET, Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
The Houston Rockets annihilated Utah in the opener and look to take a 2-0 lead when they host the Jazz on Tuesday in the second game of the Western Conference first-round series. Seven players scored in double digits and the fourth-seeded Rockets made 15 3-pointers while posting an easy 122-90 victory over fifth-seeded Utah.
Houston star guard James Harden had 29 points in Game 1 but he can't get last season's five-game postseason series win over the Jazz out of mind. "I don't mean to bring up last year, but we played pretty well in Game 1 last year and they came in here in Game 2 and beat us," Harden told reporters of the second-round series. "It's only one game. They're going to make adjustments and we have to make adjustments." Utah star shooting guard Donovan Mitchell said his team has to view the 32-point trouncing as just a loss and forget about the margin of defeat. "We could have won this game by 90, lost the game by 90, won by 1, lost by 1. It's one game," Mitchell told reporters. "It's not like they get two wins. It's just about making adjustments and not overreacting to what happened." TV:
9:30 p.m. ET, TNT, AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain (Utah), AT&T SportsNet Southwest (Houston)ABOUT THE JAZZ:
Utah had trouble halting the Rockets from the outside but also allowed center Clint Capela (16 points, 12 rebounds) to get free for easy baskets and coach Quin Snyder said the defense has to be improved in Game 2. "You're going to give something up against the Rockets," Snyder told reporters. "We just don't want to make it easy. We had some breakdowns in the half court, no question. Some of that is going to happen even when you're good, because of their ability to make plays." Mitchell scored 19 points in Game 1 but was 7-of-18 shooting and committed five turnovers. ABOUT THE ROCKETS:
Harden was 11-of-26 shooting as Utah mixed up its defenses while keeping him seven points below his season average. "They throw something at him and they might get him a little bit and he figures it out and they don't get him anymore," Houston coach Mike D'Antoni told reporters of the strategies against Harden. "He's so good offensively it makes me laugh. He's just so good I don't know what you do ... you're not stopping him. I don't care what you do." Harden, who made four 3-pointers, also had 10 assists and eight rebounds in the victory.BUZZER BEATERS
1. SG Eric Gordon (17 points) and SFs P.J. Tucker (11) and Danuel House Jr. (11) all had three 3-pointers for the Rockets in Game 1.
2. Utah C Rudy Gobert was 8-of-10 shooting while recording 22 points and 12 rebounds in Game 1.
3. Houston PG Chris Paul (14 points, seven assists) was 7-of-12 shooting in Game 1 after being 8-of-21 in two regular-season contests against the Jazz.PREDICTION:
Rockets 119, Jazz 105
Stats and Records