With 8:04 remaining in Game 2 between the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets Wednesday night, Rockets guard Eric Gordon made a 3-pointer to lift his team from a one-point deficit to a two-point advantage.
Given that Houston had come back from 19 points down in the second quarter and only trailed by a point entering the fourth, it appeared that the shot might have been the beginning of a game-ending run that would see the Rockets take a 2-0 series lead.
Instead, Houston wound up scoring only two points over the next 4:34 as the Jazz built a 12-point lead that proved too much for the Rockets to be recover from.
How did the run happen?
Utah came out of a timeout following Gordon’s shot and a driving Donovan Mitchell found a wide-open Dante Exum in the corner for a 3-pointer of his own, his second of the game, to give the Jazz the lead back. Utah played great team defense on the ensuing possession, resulting in a steal from Mitchell and an eventual open 3 from Jae Crowder.
The Utah lead was up to four, 98-94.
Mitchell picked up his fifth foul of the game on the next possession, but after Houston took the ball out, the rookie forced James Harden into a shot-clock violation. With a determined look in his eye, Mitchell then put up a contested floater on the other end of the floor that missed, but he rose up high for a powerful putback dunk that had Twitter buzzing.
The Jazz lead was up to six, 100-94.
After the Rockets got two points back on a Harden floater, Utah responded when Mitchell blew past Trevor Ariza into the lane and found Joe Ingles wide open in the corner for a 3 after the defense rotated to try to stop him at the rim.
With the Jazz up seven at 103-96, Houston head coach Mike D’Antoni called a timeout.
Out of the timeout, Rockets guard Chris Paul had a good look at a 3-pointer that missed, and Ingles found a wide open Rudy Gobert at the basket. Ariza fouled Gobert before the big man could rise up for a dunk, and the Frenchman made one of two free throws, and Utah led by eight.
On the next possession, Mitchell played great defense on Harden, whose stepback 3-point attempt nearly airballed. Mitchell then drove to the basket on the ensuing possession, got fouled and made one of two free throws.
The Jazz lead was up to nine, 105-96.
P.J. Tucker then missed a driving layup, Exum secured the rebound and Ingles made another 3-pointer to give Utah a 12-point lead at 108-96 with 4:27 remaining, and the Rockets couldn’t mount a rally from there.
In all during the run, the Jazz made four 3-pointers. For the night, they connected on 15 compared to just 10 for Houston.