Tag: rookie of the year

The Spurs are able to hold off the Jazz, 110-97

The Spurs are able to hold off the Jazz, 110-97

The San Antonio Spurs are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in 21 years.  The last time they failed to make a postseason appearance was back during the 1996-1997 season, a season before they drafted Tim Duncan.  Since then, they have won five championships, the most recent one against the Miami Heat in the 2014 Playoffs.  Right now, they sit at the 13th seed in the Western Conference with a 12-14 record, hoping to grab a second straight win over the Utah Jazz at home.

The Jazz, on the other hand, are trying to make the playoffs for a third straight time, losing the last two in the Western Conference Semifinals; one against the Golden State Warriors and one against the Houston Rockets.  The Utah Jazz will hope to win for a third straight time.

The San Antonio Spurs and the Utah Jazz have battled each other a grand total of 210 times in the past as the Jazz won 94 games while the Spurs went on to win 116 games.  This meeting will mark the second of three matchups between these two ball clubs.  The last time they saw each other was on December 4 when the Jazz blew the Spurs out of the building, 139-105.  Donovan Mitchell finished that game with 20 points, one rebound, 2 assists, and 2 steals while Jakob Poeltl had 20 points, 7 rebound, one assist, and one block.

INACTIVES:

San Antonio Spurs:

-Dante Cunningham (abdomen; 4.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, 44.7 FG%, 44.2 3P%, 90.0 FT%)
-Pau Gasol (foot; 6.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 3.3 APG, 51.2 FG%, 57.1 3P%, 72.2 FT%)
-Dejounte Murray (knee)
-Davis Bertans (personal; 7.2 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 0.9 APG, 48.0 FG%, 44.9 3P%, 93.3 FT%)
-Lonnie Walker (G-League)
-Ben Moore (G-League)

Utah Jazz:

-Tony Bradley (G-League)
-Naz Mitrou-Long (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
-Georges Niang (3.3 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.5 APG, 44.0 FG%, 38.2 3P%, 85.7 FT%)
-Tyler Cavanaugh (G-League)

GAMETIME:

The San Antonio Spurs would show dominance in the first half as they shot 50 percent from the field, limiting the Utah Jazz to 36 percent shooting.  DeMar DeRozan, who averaged 20 points a game in his first 9 years with the Raptors, got hot for 16 points in the first half of this contest.  He also had 5 defensive rebounds and 2 steals while LaMarcus Aldridge chipped in with 14 points on 78 percent shooting.  Aldridge used his 6’11” height to his advantage as he pulled down 5 boards and blocked 2 shots from going in.

Brooklyn-native Rudy Gay was kept to just three points in the half while Bryn Forbes was able to cough up four points.  Derrick White scored only two points in the 16 minutes that he played as he attempted just three shots.  Marco Belinelli, who averaged a career-high 14 points last season, played the most minutes off the bench as he scored 8 points, including two 3-pointers in the first.

On the other end of the court, the Jazz’s leading scorer this season, Donovan Mitchell, was kept completely scoreless in the 18 minutes that he played in the first half.  He did manage to grab 3 defensive rebounds while stealing the ball twice from his opponent.  Thabo Sefolosha came off the bench to carry the load as he had 9 points, shooting a perfect 100 percent from the field.  He also had a trey while Rudy Gobert helped out with 7 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and one block.  Ricky Rubio also had seven points which held a three-pointer in the first period.  Royce O’Neale played 13 minutes off the bench as he had 5 points but it was the home team that went into halftime with a huge 54 to 36 lead.

Mitchell came out of the locker room hot as he lit the floor up with 27 points to make up for his poor performance in the first half.  He shot 53 percent from the field while hitting 3 three-pointers.  Rubio also scored more in this half as he had 19 points, finishing the game out with a total of 26 points.  Gobert added 5 more points to his scoring total while Derrick Favors had only two points, going scoreless in the first session.  O’Neale played the most minutes off the bench as he didn’t even attempt a shot.

As for the 5-time champions, Gay made up for his first-half performance as he had 20 points on 90 percent shooting.  He also had 10 rebounds, 2 assists, one steal, and one block while DeRozan saw to it that he got 12 points.  Forbes was able to get it going as he earned 11 points while LaMarcus Aldridge had just six points.  Former Portland Trail Blazers guard Patty Mills played 14 minutes off the bench as he had just a three-pointer but the Spurs were still able to hand the Jazz a 110-97 defeat.  DeMar DeRozan finished the game with 26 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, and one block while Donovan Mitchell had 27 points, 5 rebounds, one assist, 2 steals, and one block.

So…what’s next?

The San Antonio Spurs will host Deandre Ayton (15.8 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 2.5 APG, 59.5 FG%, 00.0 3P%) and the struggling Phoenix Suns (4-22) on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m.  This game will mark the third of four times that these teams will battle each other during this season.  The last time they saw each other was on November 14 when the Spurs fell to the Suns, 96-116.  During that game, T.J. Warren scored 27 points, pulled down 4 rebounds, gave out 2 assists, and committed 3 steals while DeMar DeRozan finished with 24 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists.

The Utah Jazz will visit Oklahoma to take on Paul George (24.0 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 4.4 APG, 42.3 FG%, 35.2 3P%) and the Oklahoma City Thunder (16-8) on Monday at 8:00 p.m.  This will be the first of four matchups between these teams this season.  Last season, the Oklahoma City Thunder won the regular-season series, 3-1, but ended up losing in the first round of those playoffs to the Jazz, 2-4.

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The Houston Rockets hold off the Utah Jazz, 112-102, winning the series, 4-1

The Houston Rockets hold off the Utah Jazz, 112-102, winning the series, 4-1

The Houston Rockets will look to finish off the Utah Jazz as they host them at the Toyota Center for Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals.  If that takes place and the Rockets advance to the Western Conference Finals, that will be the first time in Chris Paul’s career that will play in a Conference Finals.

SERIES RECAP:

Game 1 took place in Houston on April 29 as the Rockets handed the Jazz a 110-96 loss.  During that game, James Harden scored forty-one points, pulled down eight rebounds, gave out 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 hosted the Utah Jazz again for Game 2 on May 2 but this time, the Jazz snuck away with a 116 to 108 victory.  Joe Ingles had twenty-seven points in that game, along with three rebounds and two assists while James Harden recorded thirty-two points, six rebounds, eleven assists, and two steals.

The series would shift over to Utah as the Jazz hosted the Rockets for Game 3 on May 4.  The Houston Rockets, however, got revenge as they defeated the Utah Jazz with a 113 to 92 score.  During that game, James Harden scored twenty-five points, pulled down four rebounds, gave out twelve assists, committed two steals and blocked one shot.  Eric Gordon also had twenty-five points, along with two rebounds and one steal.  Royce O’Neale had seventeen points, five rebounds, and one assist.

Game 4 would be held on May 6 at the Vivint Smart Home Arena as the Texas team defeated the Jazz, 100-87.  Chris Paul finished that game with twenty-seven points, along with twelve rebounds, six assists, two steals, and one block while Donovan Mitchell recorded twenty-five points, nine rebounds, two assists, and four steals.

INACTIVES:

Utah Jazz:

Tony Bradley (coach’s decision; 0.9 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.1 APG, 27.3 FG%, 0.0 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%)
Ricky Rubio (hamstring; 13.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 5.3 APG, 41.8 FG%, 35.2 3P%)
Dante Exum (hamstring; 8.1 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 3.1 APG, 48.3 FG%, 27.8 3P%)
Thabo Sefolosha (knee; 8.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 0.9 APG, 49.2 FG%, 38.1 3P%)

Houston Rockets:

Ryan Anderson (coach’s decision; 9.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 0.9 APG, 43.1 FG%, 38.6 3P%)
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%)

GAMETIME:

The Houston Rockets would somewhat have control in the first half as they shot forty-nine percent from the field, keeping the Utah Jazz at forty percent.  Chris Paul, desperate for a Conference Finals appearance, would get hot for fifteen points while hitting three three-pointers in the second quarter.  He also had two defensive rebounds and six assists while P.J. Tucker earned himself ten points on a perfect one-hundred percent shooting from the field.  James Harden contributed with nine points which held a three-pointer late in the first period.  2016-2017 Sixth Man of the Year Eric Gordon played the most minutes off the bench but was kept to just a three-pointer, which he took in the second quarter.

On the other end of the court, both Joe Ingles and Rudy Gobert scored eight points but Ingles earned six of his points from beyond the arc.  He also had three rebounds and three assists while Gobert had five rebounds and two blocks.  Donovan Mitchell surprisingly had only two points but did manage to dish off six assists.  Missouri-native Alec Burks played fourteen minutes off of the bench as he had twelve points but it was the Houston team who went into halftime with a 54 to 46 lead.

The Jazz would make sure to hold it close, though, as they shot fifty-six percent from the field, keeping the home team to forty-eight percent.  Mitchell got extremely hot for twenty-two points while shooting sixty-seven percent from the field.  He dropped two three-pointers in the third quarter while recording three rebounds and three assists.  Royce O’Neale helped out with eleven points while Rudy Gobert had four rebounds and four points.  Burks collected ten more points off of the bench but it wasn’t enough as Chris Paul responded hugely.  Paul chalked up twenty-six more points, giving the Rockets a 112-102 victory, winning the series 4-1.  Chris Paul finished the game with a playoff career-high forty-one points, along with seven rebounds, ten assists, and one steal.  Donovan Mitchell settled for twenty-four points, four rebounds, nine assists, and one steal.

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.

INACTIVES:

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%)

GAMETIME:

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.