In Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinal series between the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets, the Rockets seized control in the second quarter and then dominated the fourth to come away with the 122-90 win and a 1-0 lead in the series.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
- The Jazz struggled offensively for most of the night. Part of that had to do with good Houston defense, especially in the second half, but Utah shot just 39 percent from the field and committed 19 turnovers.
- In the first half, the Jazz tried to force Rockets star James Harden to drive to his right, but he got into the paint easily and was able to kick the ball out to wide open 3-point shooters. Utah made things tougher at times in the second half, but Houston shot 51 percent from the field, finished with 45 points from behind the 3-point line and 62 in the paint and tallied 25 assists.
- Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell struggled for much of the night. He scored 19 points, but shot just 7-of-18 from the field. Harden had 29.
Up next: Game 2, Wednesday, April 17, 7:30 p.m. MT.
The Jazz had their deficit down to 10 at 85-75 with 11:08 left, but the Rockets went on a 10-0 run to seize their biggest lead of the game.
For the quarter, Houston put up 39 points, while Utah scored just 19.
The Utah Jazz cut a 15-point halftime deficit down to five partway through the third quarter of Game 1 against the Houston Rockets, but the Rockets regained control and lead by 12 heading into the fourth frame, 83-71.
With its lead whittled to 66-61 at the 7:57 mark thanks to the Jazz turning some good defensive possessions into offense, Houston went on a 10-0 run over the next four minutes to push the lead to 15 as Utah couldn't make shots.
The Jazz committed six turnovers in the quarter.
The Utah Jazz largely struggled on both ends of the floor in the first half of Game 1 of their playoff series against the Houston Rockets and trail 59-44 at intermission.
Offenisvely, the Jazz scored just 20 points in the second quarter and committed nine turnovers over the first two frames. They also shot just 3-of-10 from behind the 3-point line.
Defensively, Utah allowed Houston to shoot 8-of-20 from distance, with many of the attempts behind wide open in the corners as the Jazz try to contain James Harden's drives to the basket. PJ Tucker has been a primary beneficiary of Utah's strategy, as he is 3-of-5 from downtown and has 11 points. Harden has 17.
Ricky Rubio leads Utah with 13 points. Donovan Mitchell is just 3-of-10 from the field for seven points.
FIRST QUARTER9 comments on this story
The Utah Jazz got off to a solid start, but struggled over the final few minutes of the first quarter and trail the Houston Rockets 31-24 after the opening 12 minutes at the Toyota Center on Sunday.
The Jazz started 6-of-7 from the field as the Rockets led 17-14 at the 6:15 mark, but made just two of their last eight shots. They also committed six turnovers in the quarter. Houston made four of its 11 3-point attempts in the frame.
James Harden scored 12 points in the opening quarter. Ricky Rubio led Utah with eight.