Let’s jump right into this one!
First i had myself a pre-game prediction. Which was new, i never done that. Found myself thinking how could Utah recover after being punched in the face (No pun intended; Charles Barkley) by Houston with their barrage of 3’s and heavy dosage of James Harden. The bearded one.
Personal prediction :
Uta – 113
Series – Houston taking a 2-0 lead over Utah
Keys to win for each team :
For Utah –
Run more offensive sets. (stop playing 1 on 1 all the time)
Have a lot of ball movement. Lots of assists everyone needs to score.
Play defense (limit lay-ups)
Get open look for 3’s
Win the rebound game.
Key players –
Donovan Mitchell bounces back and has a huge game. Estabilishing himself in this series as top dog for Utah.
30P 5A 8R 2S
James harden, he need more help scoring. In this series no one can really “stop” Harden.
31P 12A 6R 1S
The rockets forgot to wake up. Game 1 must have been to easy lol. Throughout the entire first quarter hou was just going through the motions.Utah came out with some aggression. Ingles was 3/4 from 3p. Mitchell was playing the role of Ricky Rubio setting up teammates with dimes. He finished 1st qt with 5 assists. A good sign for hou Chris Paul woke up and starting scoring at will toward the end.CP3 scored so easily , seizing up defender and crossing him up getting easy lay ups 1 on 1. Scoring on 2 straight lay ups and with 1 3P. CP3 showing Utah his presence early in the game . UTA had possessions where they slumped back into habits of game 1 beatdown. Example are when they have careless turnovers & not running good offense.
End of 1st.
36 UTA – 28 Hou
James harden woke up !
But only for 2 plays at the start of quarter. I was ready for James harden to go off! Another bright spot for hou Capela . Finishing with 13 as he picked up his 3rd foul at the 2 min mark. Harden went off ! Scoring 19 points in 2nd qt alone. He finished the half with 21P. Harden was so aggressive as he was 10/11 from the ft line. Hou closed the gap from a 19 p lead from uta.
Uta bench unit started playing loosely with the ball. What good came from that was Alex Burke . Super aggressive with this unit as they played faster he scored in transition . Uta was abusing hou defense with the pick n roll leaving 7’2 Gobert in the middle of lane for dunks.
Houston quickly tied the game up. Uta now seem to be the team that fell asleep. Uta continue to play 1 on 1 and stop ball movement . Harden and Capela were the stars and the hunger from Houston was alive . Uta was just stuck in mud . luckily there bench kept them in the game as there best player Donovan Mitchell was still struggling with his shooting. Utah barely hung onto the lead.
End of 3rd Qt
Both teams going back and forth . Around the 6 min mark of the 4th quarter . As Utah starts to creep away , Donovan Mitchell reignites his team with a tip in dunk off his own miss. He did this dunk in between 2 defenders that were both bigger than him. The next play Harden quickly drove and score on the offense end. Utah then bombed them with another 3. At this point in the game score Utah -103 Hou- 96. Harden air balled a step back 3 defender by who else? Donvona Mitchille. A few plays later Dante Exum patience decided to hold off on a 3P shot. But instead use some more clock and then hit the defense with this sweet spin move with the one hand flush under 1 minute left in the game. That sealed the game.
Utah – 116
Houston – 108
Game over Utah got the split.
Series tied 1-1
Utah: Played very tough tonight. Made a lot of adjustments and showed Houston that they can win at Houston. Everyone on the team played very well. They had to beat houston twice being up so much so early. Never the less a win is a win. Series is tied and heading to Utah.
Houston: Played nonchaulant early. When they got down by 19 turn on the jets and caughted up very quickly. I didn’t like what i saw from them last night. To dependent on James Harden. Lack of bench production cost them in this game. Houston just has to play there game. Simple
Houston Player of the game-
21P 11R 2B 2A (+4 in +/-)
Utah Player of the game-
17P 11A 5R (+13 in +/-)
-Do what you Love-