Tuesday, 23 July, 2019

Harden scores 29 as Rockets rout Jazz in Game 1

The Nuggets were limping into the playoffs … until they weren’t The Nuggets were limping into the playoffs … until they weren’t
Shannon Reynolds | 16 April, 2019, 00:13

Mitchell had no choice but to toss up a prayer after receiving a pass so far from the basket just before the expiration of the shot clock, which was pelted with the errant shot. Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Jazz vs. Rockets spread you should be all over Sunday, all from the model that's up more than $4,000 on top-rated National Basketball Association picks this season. That was a theme throughout the night. His 29 points on 26 shots would suggest that the Jazz were pleased with the outcome, but it's what Harden did for others that set him apart in Game 1. Not only did the Rockets hold the Jazz to 90 points and 39 percent shooting, they shut the Jazz down in the first and fourth quarters holding them to 20 and 19 points respectively.

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Denver, where the second-seeded Nuggets failed to parlay the NBA's best home-court record (34-7) into a win against the seventh-seeded but much more seasoned Spurs.

"It doesn't surprise me that we can defend", Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said.

Meanwhile, it's not as though Houston was a season-long defensive juggernaut.

Denver All-Star Nikola Jokic posted the fourth triple-double in Nuggets playoff history, with 10 points, 14 assists and 14 rebounds. We didn't play well. We have to be aggressive. "So it was just a matter of adjusting and continuing to communicate with the guys of what spots they needed to be in". If we don't do that, we don't have a chance. "I just think that for the last two months, since everybody has gotten healthy, [we've] locked in".

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The play: Houston (-330) to win the series. That's a belief held throughout the Houston locker room.

"That's something we emphasize". "When we're aggressive as a team, our defense goes to another level". "You know, we're being physical and ... being aggressive, and getting up into people, making them drive. When you do that, it puts pressure on the offense to try to make the right plays". The Utah Jazz are allowing 36.6 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 41 rebounds per game.

The second-year guard totaled 19 points and five rebounds, but he shot only 7 of 18 overall, committed five turnovers, and didn't get a single assist (some of which, admittedly, had to do with teammates not hitting shots).

In a clip making the rounds on the internet, the Spaniard picked up the reigning Most Valuable Player as he crossed the halfcourt line, sticks to his hip and eventually his back, and rapidly shuffles his feet in a comically blatant attempt to funnel Harden towards the middle against two Jazz defenders (anchored by Rudy Gobert). "If you get five turnovers, you have to look at yourself in the mirror and figure out how to adjust".

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