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The Utah Jazz hand the Houston Rockets a 116-108 loss, tying the series up, 1-1

The Utah Jazz hand the Houston Rockets a 116-108 loss, tying the series up, 1-1

Tonight will mark the second game between the Utah Jazz and the Houston Rockets in their playoff series.  The first game was on Sunday when the Rockets handed the Jazz a 110 to 96 loss.  During that game, James Harden scored forty-one points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished off seven assists, and committed one steal while Donovan Mitchell finished with twenty-one points, three rebounds, and five assists.  Jae Crowder also had twenty-one points, along with five rebounds, one assist, and two steals.  The Houston Rockets will look to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series as they host the Jazz at the Toyota Center.


Utah Jazz:

Ricky Rubio (hamstring; 13.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 5.3 APG, 41.8 FG%, 35.2 3P%)
Thabo Sefolosha (knee; 8.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 0.9 APG, 49.2 FG%, 38.1 3P%)
Tony Bradley (coach’s decision; 0.9 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.1 APG, 27.3 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Jonas Jerebko (coach’s decision; 5.8 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 0.6 APG, 46.6 FG%, 41.4 3P%)
David Stockton (coach’s decision; 3.3 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 66.7 FG%, 66.7 3P%)
Ekpe Udoh (coach’s decision; 2.6 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 0.8 APG, 50.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)

Houston Rockets:

Tarik Black (coach’s decision; 3.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 0.3 APG, 59.1 FG%, 9.1 3P%)
Aaron Jackson (coach’s decision; 8.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 33.3 FG%, 25.0 3P%)
Joe Johnson (coach’s decision; 6.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.5 APG, 40.6 FG%, 27.6 3P%)
Zhou Qi (1.2 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.1 APG, 18.8 FG%, 10.5 3P%)
Chinanu Onuaku (4.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 40.0 FG%)


The Utah Jazz would have complete control of the game in the first half as they shot fifty-six percent from the field, limiting the Houston Rockets to forty percent.  Joe Ingles ended up scoring fourteen points on sixty-three percent shooting while knocking down four three-pointers in the process.  Rudy Gobert would help out with thirteen points while grabbing one offensive rebound and eight defensive rebounds.  He also had one block while Alec Burks chalked up eleven points on a perfect one-hundred percent shooting from the field.  Donovan Mitchell would be limited to seven points while both Royce O’Neale and Derrick Favors scored six points each.  Jae Crowder played sixteen minutes off of the bench but was kept to just two three-pointers and a free-throw.

On the other end of the court, James Harden would get extremely hot for twenty-one points which included a three-pointer near the end of the second half.  He also had four rebounds, five assists, and one steal while Clint Capela saw to it that he had thirteen points on sixty-seven percent shooting.  Former Los Angeles Clippers’ guard Chris Paul contributed with six points and one assist while P.J. Tucker had a three-pointer in the middle of the first quarter.  Eric Gordon played the most minutes off of the bench but was limited to just five points as the visiting team went into halftime with a 64 to 55 lead.

The Houston Rockets would attempt to make a comeback as they went on a 53-52 run in the second half, shooting forty percent from the field.  During that run, Paul would start to warm up with seventeen points, five defensive rebounds, two assists, and two steals while drilling two three-pointers.  Harden continued to put on a scoring display as he had eleven points, which included a three-pointer in the final quarter.  Eric Gordon had ten points off of the bench but it wasn’t enough as the Utah Jazz crept away with a 116-108 win, tying the series up, 1-1.  Joe Ingles finished the game with a playoff career-high twenty-seven points, along with three rebounds and two assists while James Harden settled for thirty-two points, six rebounds, eleven assists, and two steals.

The Rockets sneak away with a 114-107 win against the Magic behind Harden’s 60-point performance

The Rockets sneak away with a 114-107 win against the Magic behind Harden’s 60-point performance

The Orlando Magic are currently the worst team in the league, sitting with a 14-34 record, and it wouldn’t help that they are on a two-game losing streak.  They will look to break that streak as they take on the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center.  As for the Rockets, they are coming fresh off of a 113-102 win against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.  This game between the Magic and the Rockets will mark the second and final time that these two ball clubs will meet up this season.

The Orlando Magic and the Houston Rockets have played each other a grand total of 62 times in the past as the Magic won 27 games while the Rockets ended up winning 35 games.  January 3 was the last time they met up as the Rockets handed the Magic a 116 to 98 blowout loss.  During that game, Gerald Green scored 27 points, pulled down 6 rebounds, dished off two assists, and blocked one shot while Aaron Gordon finished with 16 points and 8 rebounds.


Orlando Magic:

Jonathan Issac (ankle; 5.3 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 0.7 APG, 40.5 FG%, 27.8 3P%)
Terrence Ross (knee; 9.0 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1.6 APG, 40.7 FG%, 32.9 3P%)
Nikola Vucevic (hand; 17.4 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 3.3 APG, 49.1 FG%, 34.3 3P%)
Aaron Gordon (hip; 18.4 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 2.2 APG, 44.7 FG%, 34.6 3P%)
Jamel Artis (G-League; 1.8 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.8 APG, 23.5 FG%, 0.0 3P%)

Houston Rockets:

Trevor Ariza (hamstring; 12.1 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.6 APG, 42.4 FG%, 38.3 3P%)
Zhou Qi (elbow; 1.2 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 0.1 APG, 16.7 FG%, 13.3 3P%)
Tarik Black (coach’s decision; 3.6 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 0.2 APG, 56.7 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Markel Brown (coach’s decision)
Chris Paul (groin; 19.4 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 8.6 APG, 46.0 FG%, 40.3 3P%)
R.J. Hunter (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 1.0 APG)
Troy Williams (G-League; 1.3 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.3 APG, 22.2 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Chinanu Onuaku (G-League)


The beginning of the game would be competitive as the Orlando Magic shot forty-nine percent from the field while the Houston Rockets ended up shooting forty-seven percent.  Evan Fournier chalked up ten points which included two three-pointers late in the first quarter.  Bismack Biyombo would contribute with four points and five rebounds while Shelvin Mack had nine points off of the bench.  Louisiana-native Elfrid Payton was kept to just two points on thirty-three percent shooting.  D.J. Augustin played 17 minutes off of the bench as he got hot for 13 points.

On the other end of the court, James Harden lit the floor up with 24 points as he collected five defensive rebounds and dished off seven assists.  He also had two steals while Clint Capela scored six points and pulled down eight rebounds.  Eric Gordon was kept scoreless in the 10 minutes that he played but Ryan Anderson would give five points.  Gerald Green played the most minutes off of the bench as he had eight points but it was the Magic who went into halftime with a 55-54 lead.

The Rockets responded in the second half as they went on a 60 to 52 run, shooting fifty-four percent from the field.  James Harden went off for 36 points while drilling five three-pointers in the process.  He would also record five rebounds, four assists, two steals, and one block to add to it.  Nene played eight minutes off of the bench but was held scoreless while Capela helped out with six points.

As for the Florida team, Mario Hezonja posted up 13 points while Jonathon Simmons scored 11 points.  Marreese Speights played the most minutes off of the bench as he contributed with 12 points but that didn’t matter as the Rockets walked away with a 114 to 107 victory.  James Harden finished the game with a career-high 60 points, along with 10 rebounds, 11 assists, 4 steals, and one block.  The triple-double that Harden received would mark the first time a player had a 60-point triple-double in NBA history.  Marreese Speights settled for 17 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, one steal, and one block.  Mario Hezonja also had 17 points, as well as 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and one block.

So…what’s next?

The Orlando Magic will host Kyle Kuzma (16.3 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.9 APG, 46 FG%) and the Los Angeles Lakers (19-30) on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.  This meeting will mark the first of two times that these teams will battle each other this season.  The Magic and the Lakers have clashed with each other a total of 61 times as the Lakers won 41 games while the Magic pulled out only 20 wins.

The Houston Rockets will visit Texas to clash with LaMarcus Aldridge (22.2 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 1.9 APG, 49 FG%) and the San Antonio Spurs (33-19) on Thursday at 8:00 p.m.  That game will mark the second of four times that these two ball clubs will matchup this season.  The Rockets and the Spurs have played each other a grand total of 212 times in the past as the Rockets won 96 games while the Spurs went on to win 116 games.  The last time they faced each other was on December 15 when the Rockets defeated the Spurs, 124 to 109.  James Harden finished that game with 28 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, and one block while Chris Paul also had 28 points, along with 4 rebounds, 8 assists, 7 steals, and one block.  LaMarcus Aldridge settled for 16 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and one steal.