Rockets beat Jazz 104-101 for 3-0 series lead

Houston Rockets guard James Harden( 13) acts after a fouled in the second half during an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Saturday, April 20, 2019, in Salt Lake City.( AP Photo/ Rick Bowmer)

James Harden never upset. In knowledge, he didn’t know he had missed his first 15 shots.

Through it all, he never changed the attacking wording that induced him the NBA’s leading scorer.

Harden overcame a inadequate shooting operation and composed 14 of his 22 phases in the fourth quarter, guiding the Houston Rocket to a 104 -1 01 win Saturday over the Utah Jazz for a commanding 3-0 result in their first-round playoff series.

“Keep shooting. Keep being aggressive, ” Harden said of his only envisages. “My job is to go out there and grow. Be vigorous and in attack mode. Nothing changes.”

Not much has worked against Harden for the Jazz, and even when they thought they had him captured, they weren’t able to control The Beard for a full game.

“You’re going to give something up. The best thing you can do with him is just try to make it hard on him. Even when you do that, there’s eras where he’s going to see acquire continues, ” Utah coach Quin Snyder said.

The Jazz didn’t take it easy on Harden, and took opportunities to strike him down, even though it routed him to the line. For one of the uncommon ages this season, Harden passed up some fires. But he did make them — and meet them — when they counted most.

Though the win was barely a thing of allure, Houston coach Mike D’Antoni was grateful for the acces it went down.

“Sooner or afterwards we were supposed to acquires recreations on justification. We did this time, ” D’Antoni said of his crew which is known for Harden’s lethal 3-point criticize but has drastically improved on the defensive outcome since mid-season.

Harden made a 3-pointer and lent two penalty free throw with 42.4 seconds left to give the Rockets a 101 -9 7 cause. After Donovan Mitchell procreated two free throw, Harden missed another 3-point endeavor, but P.J. Tucker, who finished with 12 pitches and 10 rebounds, grabbed the backlash, was contaminated, making one of two free throws.

Chris Paul said: “You trust( Tucker) to do those represents . … He’s going to do anything and everything to help the team win.”

Mitchell had a wide-open look at a 3-pointer on the following self-possession, but like so many of his shoots in the hard-fought game, it was off the mark.

Game 4 of the best-of-seven Western Conference series is Monday night in Utah.

“We didn’t shoot the chunk well and we still won. That exactly generates us greater confidence, ” said Harden, who was 3-for-20 shooting with 10 abets. He was 14 for 16 from the line.

Paul composed 18 items and Clint Capela had 11 objects and 14 rebounds for the Rocket, who shot 38.4 percentage from the field and 67.6 percent from the line.

Mitchell composed 34 levels, but struggled shooting, too, preparing simply 9 of his 27 endeavors. Derrick Favors had 13 for the Jazz.

Royce O’Neale, who represented tenacious protection on Harden, made a 3-pointer for Utah’s last-place leading at 89 -8 8. In reality, the Jazz passed most of the game, but never by more than eight.

The Rockets induced their move in the fourth quarter.

Gerald Green became back-to-back 3-pointers and Harden supplemented a duet of penalty free throw with 8: 33 remaining leant the Rockets up 84 -8 0.

After two gradual begin in Houston, the Jazz came out enlivened with a deafening multitude hanging on every basket. Utah resulted 11 -3 and Harden picked up two fumbles in the first 94 seconds, but abode on special courts. He couldn’t find his lilt until the stretch run.

The Projectile have met no secret they are keying on Mitchell and Ingles to take away their playmaking and realize other Utah players beat them. So far , no one else has performed them pay.

Mitchell vowed to be more aggressive and defended for being a “no show” early in the succession. He re-introduced himself to the line in an exuberant display of shot-making and open sensation after large-hearted participates. But it didn’t last.

“I time started missing hits, ” Mitchell said. “I can’t miss 16 shots( after the first part ). That’s my capacity and I can’t miss makeable shots.”

Prior to Saturday’s big game, Mitchell was shooting 32.6% and had more turnovers( nine) than encourages( six ). After his hot start, Mitchell missed 11 straight field goal assaults but never stopped attacking.

Harden was missing 3-pointers and floaters, including 2 that were rejected by Rudy Gobert early in the game, and didn’t alter one until his resounding fast-break dunk with 7:34 to toy. But then he made a step-back 3-pointer to give Houston its largest head at 89 -8 3.

The producing MVP candidate did get to the line — something the Jazz have tried desperately to avoid.

Gobert had 10 qualities, eight comebacks and seven blocked shots.


The squads compounded for 72 free throw and at least one player hit the hardwood on almost every call.

“It was a lot of ardour, a lot of physicality out there, ” Harden said. “It was playoff basketball.”

Gobert said here Rockets finally got a perceive of the Jazz defense that propelled them to 50 earns this season.

“The way we started the game, we were tough and they felt us. I don’t think they felt us the first two competitions, ” Gobert said.


Rockets: Creeks and Ingles got doubled technologicals in the second one-quarter for pitching the dance at one another . … In the third largest one-quarter, Harden was wrapped up by Royce O’Neale on a fast interrupt and landed awkwardly with O’Neale on top of him in the row of cameras beyond the baseline . … When Harden shot free throws, the crowd often chanted “Flopper! Flopper! “

Jazz: Gobert had five cubes in the first half. … Jae Crowder started in place of Favors for the first time in the series. … Jazz missed six penalty free throw in the first four minutes of the second largest half. … Utah was 12 of 41 from beyond the arc.


Game 4 is Monday night in Utah.

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