Keys to Rockets' Game 1 against Utah Jazz

Keys to Rockets' Game 1 against Utah Jazz

The Houston Rockets made light work of the Utah Jazz in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals, winning the contest easily, 110-96.

James Harden and the Houston Rockets defend their home court in Game 1 against the Utah Jazz. Clint Capela finished with a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds. The Jazz lost Game 1, but fought to the last breath in the second half, trimming a 27 point lead to 11 without Rubio orchestrating the offensive action.

The Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets meet Wednesday in game two of the Western Conference playoffs at the Toyota Center.

Both the Rockets and the fifth-seeded Jazz are in the conference semifinals for the second straight year. Defensively, Utah didn't have many answers for Houston's 3-point shooting (17-for-32) and couldn't supply much on their own (7-for-22).

The Jazz, who are leading their series 3-2, were unable to close it out as the Thunder avoided elimination with a 107-99 victory.

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The Rockets played their usual game, putting the Jazz into poor defensive positions as they vacillated between crisp ball movement and devastating isolation play. He averaged 34.3 points with a true shooting percentage of.737 in the four games, with the last being played on February 26.

The Houston Rockets hope to take a commanding 2-0 series lead before going to Utah for game three. Point guard Ricky Rubio, who has been fantastic in the postseason thus far, suffered a left hamstring injury and has been officially ruled out for Game 1 on Sunday. James Harden is averaging 31 points and 7.3 assists while Chris Paul is averaging 18.7 points and 6.5 assists.

Donovan Mitchell gave Ariza a lot of credit for slowing him down in Game 1, via the Houston Chronicle's Hunter Atkins. "They're really good. We dug ourselves and then we're playing uphill the rest of the game". He's got so many ways to beat you, and then the fouls [he draws] if you try to take some of them away.

The Rockets remained comfortably in the lead for the second half, never letting the lead slip back into single digits for the remainder of the game.

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