The Houston Rockets hung 122 points on the Utah Jazz, and won by 32 in a blow out win in Houston for game one. The Jazz came out with a defensive game plan designed to force James Harden to this right, but largely resulted in Harden getting open runs to the rim, either for easy floaters or wide open three point shooters in the corners. Harden finished the game with 28 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds, and was far and away the best player on the floor.
Donovan Mitchell was slow to get started, but finished the game with 19 points on 18 shots, though most of his production when the game was out of hand. Rudy Gobert finished the game with a team high 22 points, and 12 rebounds. While the Jazz defense wasn’t effective, their ability to score just 90 points was more concerning, as the Jazz once again showed a lack of ability to find dribble penetration.
Houston’s ability to switch most matchups on the perimeter eliminates Joe Ingles, Jae Crowder, Thabo Sefolosha, and Royce O’Neale from finding dribble penetration, or space as shooters. As a result, the Jazz role playing wings combined to shoot 4-24 from the floor, and 3-15 from three.
The Jazz will face the Rockets for game two Wednesday night in Houston.
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