Thursday, 25 April, 2019

James Harden scores 29 as Rockets rout Jazz in Game 1

Spurs stun Nuggets in Game 1, take series lead Spurs upset Jokic, No. 2 Nuggets
Cassandra Castillo | 15 April, 2019, 16:41

A year ago in the Rockets conference semifinal triumph over the Jazz, Paul was second on the team in scoring (24.6 points per game), he was second on the team in rebounding (7.0 rebounds per game) and second on the team in assists (6.2 assists per game.) His ability to knock down shots from the midrange and find those shots as Jazz closed out on the shooters was invaluable in the Rockets making quick work of Utah.

The Utah Jazz strategy against the Houston Rockets' James Harden seems to be a conscious and deliberate effort in preventing his patented stepback jumpers and forcing him to go inside. This information is subject to change, however, so be sure to check out our NBA Public Betting Page for updated figures on the game. He missed four of the last five regular-season games because of back spasms.

Their first hurdle is getting past Utah, whom they eliminated in the conference semifinals last season. Aldridge calmly stepped to the line and knocked down a pair of free throws to make it a 3-point game, 99-96 with 6.9 seconds remaining. Donovan Mitchell is averaging 19 points and five rebounds while Rudy Gobert is averaging 22 points and 12 rebounds.

DeRozan powered the Spurs with 18 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists. They had hoped to avoid seeing the defending champs so soon, but ended up with the No. 4 seed following a one-point loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the regular-season finale. The Rockets' aggressive defense had snuffed out every action the Jazz attempted on the possession. The Utah Jazz are allowing 36.6 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 41 rebounds per game.

The Rockets quickly rose to a 31-24 lead after the first quarter and continued to add to their lead throughout the contest, including a 39-point fourth quarter. The starting duo had 17 of the team's 25 assists.

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Recording a near triple-double with 29 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds in 32 minutes, Harden did a majority of his damage - 17 points and seven assists - in the first half. The Rockets are 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 home games, 7-1-1 ATS in their last 9 vs. They'll assuredly come into this series prepared and with a well-crafted game plan, courtesy of Quin Snyder, that if executed well could very well lead to victory.

These two split the season series, but Houston took the last two meetings.

Here are the biggest takeaways from Game 1 of this series. Houston is healthy and clicking on offense, which is something it has struggled with throughout the season.

Houston is going to play Gobert off the floor, #NBATwitter says.

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