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The Utah Jazz open up Game 1 of their first-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets at 7:30 PM MT.

Didn't matter much to Harden and the Rockets though.

Houston's entire starting lineup had at least 10 points.

His backcourt mate Chris Paul had a steady game, recording 14 points and seven assists on 7-of-12 shooting. "Overall, I think we did a good job". "I don't care what you do".

The odd defensive scheme sometimes worked with Harden shooting floaters that graze the rim (which was the intention all along) but for the most part, it failed. "But what is said is understood.You can't go wrong with Pop". "So it was just a matter of adjusting and continuing to communicate with the guys of what spots they needed to be in". Last season in a conference semifinal, the Rockets forced Gobert into switch after switch and made him guard the perimeter.

Danuel House Jr. and Kenneth Faried combined for 22 points, outscoring the Jazz's bench by themselves.

The Utah Jazz hope to tie this series up before heading up for game three.

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"Their physicality defensively disrupted us", Jazz coach Quin Snyder said.

Mitchell was disappointed with his assist-to-turnover ratio. "If you get five turnovers, you have to look at yourself in the mirror and figure out how to adjust". "That's huge", he said.

Utah is the 5 seed in the West and the Jazz have won eight of their last 10 to close the regular season while going 4-1 against the spread over their last five games.

Sunday night at the Toyota Center, the Houston Rockets will begin their 2019 playoff quest for 16 wins and the franchise's third National Basketball Association title.

Gary Harris led the Nuggets with 20 points and Murray scored 17. Soon after he returned he found House behind the 3-point line in the corner and drove to the basket and finished with a one-handed slam.

The model knows the Rockets will be determined to make fast work of this series in order to prepare for a likely second-round meeting with the top-seeded Golden State Warriors. Their last lead came with four minutes left in the first quarter but they trimmed a 12-point deficit to one in the closing minutes.

Mitchell ended a Utah scoring drought of about 4 1/2 minutes after that with a 3-pointer, but Harden hit a 3 seconds later to leave the Rockets up 79-64. Jae Crowder was the only player to contribute more than five points while three players went scoreless. The Houston Rockets are allowing 25.9 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 42 rebounds per game. Hall of Famer and former Rocket Hakeem Olajuwon watched the game from a courtside seat. "I would say it was probably my toughest game.it felt kind of hard to breathe like I'm used to".

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