Expect a more juiced up Utah Jazz team for Game 2

Joe Ingles scores 27 as Jazz beat Rockets to even series

Prior to the series, numerous experts predicted a textbook, wholesale sweep for the Rockets, with few predicting the Jazz could take even a single game off the talented Houston side. With the loss, Houston gives away homecourt advantage to Utah, as games three and four take place at Vivint Smart Home Arena. It was the 1st quarter which killed the Rockets in all honesty.

Can the Jazz make the defensive adjustments necessary to slow James Harden?

The play, while not terribly fair to Gobert, who is an outstanding rim protector and defender, was illustrative of one matchup problem the Rockets present for the Jazz in their semifinals series. His 41 points in Game 1 of this series wasn't the first time he's tortured the Jazz this season. He's proven he's good enough to get his just about any night (21 points vs. Houston in Game 1).

"We had some time to think about, and talk about what we do", Ingles said post-game. The Houston bench only accounted for 13 combined points in their series opening victory.

P.J. Tucker rebounded well as he grabbed 10 boards, but he shot horribly going two of nine from the floor and one of five from three-point range. They were expected to lose their first-round series to the Oklahoma City Thunder, and won in six games. James Harden led all scorers with 32 points. In the final 6½ minutes, Harden scored as many points on free throws as the Jazz did total.

Clint Capela has been a great role player for the Rockets this season, giving them a much needed boost inside.


Utah Jazz rookie guard Donovan Mitchell has quickly established himself as one of the most exciting young stars in the National Basketball Association, which certainly isn't a surprise to his peers who voted him the "Biggest Steal of the Draft" after being selected 13th overall.

Playing once again without Ricky Rubio, Utah stormed out of the gates behind Donovan Mitchell's playmaking and Joe Ingles' shooting.

Another awesome dunk came toward the end of the game when Dante Exum slammed this home.

"We made some mistakes". After two Houston baskets, Mitchell dished to Gobert (for a dunk) and to Burks (for another layup). Even if Crowder is able to contain Harden, the Rockets have too many other weapons that the Jazz must defend.

In order to stick with the offensive firepower of the Rockets, the Jazz can't just rely on Mitchell to turn in marvelous performances like he did during the first round.

Harden ended a 2 ½-minute Houston scoring drought with a 3-pointer about a minute later that was the start of a 9-3 run that got the Rockets within 111-105 with 1:46 left. The Jazz are going to have to hope the Rockets forget to bring ammo.

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