Houston Rockets ensure James Harden, right, drives to a basket as Utah Jazz core Rudy Gobert defends during a initial half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Sunday, Apr 14, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
The Utah Jazz attempted to force a maladroit James Harden to his right to make things some-more formidable on him on Game 1 of their first-round playoff array opposite a Houston Rockets on Sunday night.
Didn’t matter many to Harden and a Rockets though. He still led a group in scoring and helped promote plain descent nights from everybody else in a starting lineup in a unilateral win.
Harden had 29 points and 10 assists to assistance a Rockets subjection a Jazz 122-90 in a opener of a best-of-seven series.
Houston’s whole starting lineup had during slightest 10 points. Eric Gordon had 17, Clint Capela scored 16, Chris Paul combined 14 and P.J. Tucker had 11.
“They chuck something during him and they competence get him a small bit and he total it out and they don’t get him anymore,” manager Mike D’Antoni pronounced about a defensive plan on Harden. “He’s so good offensively it creates me laugh. He’s only so good we don’t know what we do … you’re not interlude him. we don’t caring what we do.”
Harden wasn’t astounded during Utah’s defensive tactic.
“I’ve seen literally each invulnerability we can presumably see,” he said. “So it was only a matter of adjusting and stability to promulgate with a guys of what spots they indispensable to be in.”
The Rockets had a double-digit lead for many of a game, though a Jazz got within 5 points mid by a third entertain before Houston used a large run to lift divided and cruise to a victory.
“The third entertain we got some stops and we didn’t get shots on a other finish and that’s tough to overcome,” Jazz manager Quin Snyder said.
It’s a second uninterrupted year a teams have met in a postseason after a Rockets separated Utah in 5 games in a second turn final season.
Game 2 is Wednesday night in Houston.
Houston was adult by 15 in a fourth entertain before Harden, who had 8 rebounds, scored 6 points in a 9-2 run that stretched a lead to 108-86 with 4 mins left and both teams privileged their benches about a notation after that.
Rudy Gobert had 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead a Jazz after not scoring some-more than 15 points in a diversion in a playoff array opposite a Rockets final season. Donovan Mitchell had 19 points, though did not have an support as a Jazz went prolonged stretches though scoring.
Mitchell was unhappy with his assist-to-turnover ratio.
“No assists. Five turnovers. That’s huge,” he said. “You can’t have no assists and 5 turnovers.”
Ricky Rubio started after blank 4 of a final 5 games of a unchanging deteriorate with a quadriceps injury. Rubio, who finished with 15 points, didn’t play opposite Houston in a playoffs final deteriorate after injuring his hamstring in a first-round array win over a Oklahoma City Thunder.
Houston had a 12-point lead entering a fourth entertain and an 8-0 spurt, with dual 3-pointers from Danuel House, extended it to 95-75 with 9 mins remaining.
The Rockets led by 17 when Harden re-entered a diversion about a notation later. Soon after he returned he found House behind a 3-point line in a dilemma and gathering to a basket and finished with a one-handed slam.
The Rockets were adult by 15 during halftime, though Utah non-stop a second half with a 10-3 run, with 6 points from Gobert, to cut it to 62-54 with 9 mins left in a third.
The Jazz got within 5 with a shot from Mitchell after in a third, before a Rockets scored subsequent 10 points, with a 3 from Gordon and a three-point play from Harden, to make it 76-61 with about 4 mins left in a quarter.
Mitchell finished a Utah scoring drought of about 4 ½ mins after that with a 3-pointer, though Harden strike a 3 seconds after to leave a Rockets adult 79-64.
Utah cut into a lead a bit after that and trailed 83-71 after three.
Jazz: Derrick Favors had 13 points. … Utah went 7 for 27 on 3s. … The Jazz had 18 turnovers. … Jae Crowder scored 9 points off a bench.
Rockets: D’Antoni was behind on a sideline after blank Houston’s final 3 regular-season games with an abdominal virus. … Hall of Famer and former Rocket Hakeem Olajuwon watched a diversion from a courtside seat. … Houston done 15 3-pointers, led by 4 from Harden.
Capela played notwithstanding traffic with an top respiratory infection that kept him out of use dual days this week. Houston’s core pronounced he still wasn’t feeling good and hopes he’s improved by Wednesday.
“It was hard,” he said. “I would contend it was substantially my toughest diversion … it felt kind of tough to breathe like I’m used to.”
THEY SAID IT
Mitchell on relocating on after a blowout loss: “Honestly we could have won this diversion by 90 or mislaid this diversion by 90 … for us it’s only about creation adjustments and not overreacting to what happened.”
After Game 2 on Wednesday a array moves to Utah for Game 3 on Saturday and Game 4 on Apr 22.