Rockets vs. Jazz Game 2 preview: Protecting home court

Kevin Durant Golden State Warriors

The Jazz had just finished a grueling series with Oklahoma City and were adjusting to life without Ricky Rubio, when they got blown out in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals by the Houston Rockets, 110-96.

Well well, the Utah Jazz have made this a series with the Houston Rockets. "They are 100 percent in a relationship".

What was not fine was the Jazz game plan to slow down James Harden, who torched Utah for 41 points.

Ingles hit a scorching 7-of-9 from the three-point line and 10-of-13 from the field.

It was a doubt that lingered in game one, as the Timberwolves hung around the Rockets, watching Harden drop the hammer in the form of 44 points but manage to stay within three points.

Gobert's impact at the defensive end is always profound, and the fact that the Rockets only scored 36 points in there in Game 1 is testament to that.

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Mitchell, speaking to TNT postgame, said of the Jazz's resilience, "That's in our DNA, that's in our character, to withstand the run".

Twitter, who have already gotten squarely around the absolute lad this playoff series, was again awash with theories about how Ingles looks less like a professional basketball player, and more like a guy rewinding tapes at a Blockbuster in 1999. The biggest thing is we defended.

Jazz' Alec Burks, $4,000: Burks is most likely to see a boost in time if Rubio is unable to go. When the Rockets' second unit labored to build some momentum, Gobert and Favors started converting in the paint as the Jazz repeatedly left the Rockets scrambling defensively to cover the action.

The Jazz did hang in there for a bit but this team's firepower was way to great for them to overcome.

Disturbingly for the Raptors and any future Cavaliers opponents, they did it without James shooting especially well by his standards. We came out a little too lackadaisical. We were just kind of going through the motions and whatnot. At the end of the second quarter, third quarter we picked it up. Ingles found Gobert for another dunk and, after a Houston timeout, Gobert stuffed Harden at the rim and Mitchell canned a 3-pointer to give the Jazz a 19-point lead. First, rewind that video above and focus on the Jazz bench going nuts. He's proven he's good enough to get his just about any night (21 points vs. Houston in Game 1).

"I've learned not to be content with him, to demand more and more from him", Jazz coach Quin Snyder said pregame, "because that's what he wants". But that won't do much to soothe the feelings of the Raptors and their fans, who have often felt aggrieved at what they perceive as a lack of respect from the league.


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