Rockets make it look easy in Game 1.
A well-rested Houston Rockets squad took advantage of the Utah Jazz in Game 1 of their second round series last night, as James Harden poured in 41 points en route to Houston's 110-96.
Fresh off their "gentleman's sweep" against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Rockets got out to a fast start against the Jazz, a team that only had one day of rest in between eliminating the OKC Thunder and taking the court vs the Western Conference's #1 seed. The Rockets jumped out to a 34-21 lead after one quarter and by half time their lead had increased to 25.
Harden led the way with 41 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, while Chris Paul chipped in 17 points, six assists, four rebounds and four steals. Clint Capela double-doubled with 16 points, 12 rebounds. Utah's rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell finished with 21, as did Jae Crowder, but it wasn't nearly enough to keep pace with the Rockets, who have won their last four games by 10 or more points.
"It's a quick turnaround obviously and there's some fatigue," Mitchell said, per ESPN. "But that wasn't the reason for the performance."
"We're different," Harden said. "We've seen so many different defenses throughout this year that have prepared us for this moment."
Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio was inactive as he deals with a hamstring injury that could keep him out of action for up to 10 days. According to ESPN, the Rockets have won their five games against the Jazz by an average of 16.8 points.
Game 2 is set to tipoff at the Toyota Center in Houston on Wednesday night at 8:00 pm ET.