SALT LAKE CITY — Reigning NBA MVP James Harden always seems to draw a crowd, and that was again the case during the first half of Game 1 Sunday night between the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets.
In particular, it was the way the Jazz were guarding Harden that had Twitter buzzing.
During the first quarter, Harden had the upper hand, hitting 5 of 6 shots and a pair of 3-pointers, to score 12 points and lead Houston to a 31-24 lead through one quarter.
At halftime, TNT analyst Kenny Smith noted forcing Harden to his right is one thing, but it has been much easier than that.
The Rockets and Harden just added to that dominance in the second quarter. Houston built its lead to as many as 17 points in the first half and Harden scored 17 points on 7 of 14 shooting, including 3 of 5 on 3-pointers, in the first two quarters.
Aggressive start for Rubio
Ricky Rubio was back on the court for the Jazz on Sunday night after missing the last three games of the regular season with a left quad contusion. His aggressiveness was apparent on offense, as he went into the half with a team-leading 13 points on 4 of 7 shooting with three assists.
By contrast, fellow Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell had just 7 points on 3 of 7 shooting.
Rubio's defense, meanwhile, was panned on Twitter.
What's in a name?3 comments on this story
Shaquille O'Neal, also a part of the TNT broadcast team, apparently had an issue with Rudy Gobert's last name.
‘Game of Jazz’ or 'Game of Thrones'?
With Season 8 of “Game of Thrones” starting Sunday night, the same night as Game 1 of the Jazz-Rockets series, it left the question: Were fans on the “Game of Jazz” squad or “Game of Thrones” side?
The Jazz gave a nod to which way fans should lean when they announced their starting lineup.
The Ringer had a #NightKing, Jazz connection.
What if it's possible to pay attention to both at the same time?