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Jazz Beat Rockets 116-108, Even Series

03 May 2018

Four different Jazz players scored at least five points in the fourth quarter, while only three players scored period for the Rockets. We were just kind of going through the motions and whatnot. Utah, doing its best impression of the Rockets, made 15 three-point shots in game two. "I think we did a really good job of that".

See what we did there with this point? He also hit his first 3-pointers of the playoffs and played hounding defense against the Rockets' All-Star backcourt.

There weren't necessarily any playoff expectations for this team at the start of training camp.

"They came out with some thrust in that first half", said Rockets guard James Harden, who had 32 points and 11 assists in the loss.

With starting point guard Ricky Rubio out injured, Mitchell showed his playmaking chops tonight. The Jazz came out firing, scoring 36 points in the first quarter despite scoring only 39 points in the first half of Game 1.

"That to me was maybe the most important thing in the game", he said. I got some good looks, and was lucky to knock them down.

Clearly no one mentioned it to Joe Ingles, one of those six veteran holdovers from last season.

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Exum had nine points for the game, including a thunderous right-hand dunk in the final minute that sealed the game and had his team-mates jumping off the bench.

But they didn't make those shots on Wednesday night. 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.

It was the sort of group effort that has been the trademark of this Jazz team all season.

Utah Jazz's forward Joe Ingles drives to the basket at Houston Arena.

"I thought Dante's dunk was better than mine", Mitchell said.

The Jazz squandered a huge early lead before using a big fourth quarter to regain control and head home for Game 3 on Friday in Utah with a chance to take a series lead over the top-seeded Rockets.

Houston Coach Mike D'Antoni said Mitchell was the key to the victory even though he didn't lead the team in scoring. The real wake-up call didn't come until now.

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"He was breaking us down", D'Antoni said. "They came out with unbelievable energy and they played harder than we did". They were slipping a lot because they know that we switch. You've got to give them credit, they played great down the stretch. They did what they were supposed to do.

The Rockets can't afford another poor start in Game 3.

After taking care of business against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round, the Jazz are trying to shock the National Basketball Association.

Prior to the series, numerous experts predicted a textbook, wholesale sweep for the Rockets, with few predicting the Jazz could take even a single game off the talented Houston side.

His hamstring injury might force Mitchell to continue working at the point for the remainder of the series.

"Ingles' seven from nine from three - they were just too comfortable", said Paul, looking at the score sheet during his media conference. Ariza fouled Gobert before the big man could rise up for a dunk, and the Frenchman made one of two free throws, and Utah led by eight.

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Jazz Beat Rockets 116-108, Even Series