The Utah Jazz finished 17 games below the Houston Rockets in the NBA’s regular season.
After two games in Houston, the Jazz now own home court advantage in a best of five series, heading back to Utah for game three on Friday night in a tied series.
After a demoralizing loss in game one to the Rockets, the Jazz used two days rest and preparation to adjust to Houston’s three point attack, and aggressive pick and roll defense and emerged a 116-108 victor on Wednesday night.
Joe Ingles led the Jazz with a career high 27 points on a red hot 7-9 shooting from downtown, while Rudy Gobert rebounded from a nearly non-existent performance in game one to finish with 15 points and 14 rebounds, proving to be a force in the paint.
Donovan Mitchell, now tasked with playing the role of point guard in the absence of Ricky Rubio, had a career high 11 assists to control the Jazz offense, despite scoring 17 points on just 6-21 shooting. Mitchell was the best player on the floor in the fourth quarter, scoring 7 points to keep Houston at arms length.
Alec Burks made a surprise contribution off the bench, providing 17 points on 7-11 shooting, and looked comfortable running the offense as the lead guard. Burks has helped the Jazz in each of their last two wins, including in the close out game over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round.
James Harden led the Rockets with 32 points on 22 shots, but made just 2 of his 10 three point attempts, and was limited with foul trouble in the second half.
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