HOU
UTA

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Rockets blast Jazz 113-92 to take series lead

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) When Houston's offense gets going, the Rockets are nearly impossible to beat.

James Harden had 25 points and 12 assists to lead Houston to a 113-92 win over Utah in Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinals series on Friday night.

Eric Gordon added 25 points and Chris Paul had 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Rockets. Houston beat Utah in Salt Lake City for the third time this season to take a 2-1 series lead. Game 4 is on Sunday.

The Rockets attacked the Jazz everywhere en route to rolling up 70 points before halftime. When Utah drove Houston off the perimeter, it yielded repeated slashes to the rim for layups. When the Jazz dropped back in to shore up the interior, the Rockets came up with well-timed 3-pointers to keep the heat on.

''We're just not going to force anything,'' Harden said. ''Whatever they give us, we're going to take and we're going to have confidence in our guys and we're going to make shots.

Royce O' Neale scored 17 points. Alec Burks chipped in 14 points while Rudy Gobert added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Jazz.

Utah never got on track on offense. The Jazz shot poorly over the first three quarters and committed 16 turnovers. Houston scored 19 points off those miscues.

''I thought our defense was superb,'' Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said. ''We were hitting shots all over the place. We just got a hold of it, kept the crowd out of it and kept them on their heels. You could see the guys feeding off good defense after good defense. When you do that and your energy is right, the shots start to go down and good things happen.''

Houston could not have scripted a much better start than what the Rockets produced on Friday night.

A listless first-half effort ultimately sealed Houston's fate in Game 2. The Rockets avoided enduring another slow start by clamping down on defense and playing efficient offense.

Houston picked apart Utah's defense practically from the opening tip. The Rockets opened the game by scoring baskets on six of their first seven possessions. Harden capped the flurry with his first basket to put Houston up 15-5.

It only grew worse for the Jazz from there. The Rockets led by as many as 22 in the first quarter, taking a 37-15 lead on back-to-back baskets from Harden and Gerald Green.

Houston made 16 of its 26 shots in the first quarter and totaled 39 points in the period.

''They were focused and determined to do what they wanted to do,'' Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. ''We just didn't provide enough resistance in a lot of areas.''

As effective as the Rockets were on offense, their defense proved equally troublesome for Utah. Houston forced the Jazz to commit six turnovers before the start of the second quarter and scored nine points off those turnovers.

''They just took us out of our rhythm and we can't let that happen,'' guard Donovan Mitchell said. ''They were the aggressor all night and we got to be able to understand they're gonna be aggressive and we've got to be able to counter.''

Utah cut Houston's lead 49-34 midway through the second quarter after O' Neale scored three straight baskets to fuel a 9-0 run. Clint Capela ended the run with a dunk and the Rockets proceeded to outscore the Jazz 31-9 over a 10 minute stretch extending into the third quarter.

They pushed their lead to 80-43 on a driving layup from Ariza with 8:01 left in the quarter.

TIP-INS:

Rockets: Gordon finished with a postseason-high in points. ...Houston did not commit a turnover in the first quarter. ... The Rockets outscored the Jazz 20-10 in fastbreak points after totaling just five in Game 2. ... Houston finished with 50 points in the paint for the second straight game.

Jazz: Derrick Favors exited with an ankle sprain in the third quarter. Favors totaled two points, two rebounds and two assists in 13 minutes. ... Houston's 39 first quarter points is the most given up by Utah in any quarter in a playoff game this season. ... Mitchell scored only 10 points after going just 4-of-16 from the field.

BACK TO FORM

Eric Gordon got his shooting groove back in Game 3. Gordon attacked the rim early and then hit several key 3-pointers as the game progressed. He ended up going 8-of-13 from the field and shooting 50 percent from the 3-point line.

It marked a big change of pace for Gordon who has struggled to find his shot at times during the postseason. Coming into Friday night, he had shot just 31.4 percent from the field and averaged 12.9 points over seven playoff games

''I just got to continue to be aggressive,'' Gordon said. ''It doesn't change for me.''

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1st Quarter

Time Team Play Score
12:00   Jumpball  
11:42 +3 Joe Ingles made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Derrick Favors 0-3
11:19 +2 Clint Capela made hook shot, assist by James Harden 2-3
11:06   Donovan Mitchell missed driving layup, blocked by Trevor Ariza  
11:03   Defensive rebound by Chris Paul  
11:02 +3 Trevor Ariza made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Chris Paul 5-3
10:49   Joe Ingles missed jump shot  
10:47   Team rebound  
10:44   Bad pass turnover on Donovan Mitchell, stolen by Clint Capela  
10:39 +3 P.J. Tucker made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Trevor Ariza 8-3
10:12   Donovan Mitchell missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:09   Defensive rebound by P.J. Tucker  
9:55 +2 P.J. Tucker made floating jump shot, assist by Chris Paul 10-3
9:34   Derrick Favors missed jump shot  
9:31   Defensive rebound by Trevor Ariza  
9:14   Chris Paul missed jump shot  
9:11   Defensive rebound by Royce O'Neale  
9:04 +2 Derrick Favors made layup, assist by Royce O'Neale 10-5
8:50 +2 Clint Capela made dunk, assist by James Harden 12-5
8:38   Bad pass turnover on Joe Ingles, stolen by James Harden  
8:36   Personal foul on Royce O'Neale  
8:28   Unsportsmanlike technical foul  
8:28 +1 James Harden made free throw 13-5
8:21 +2 James Harden made floating jump shot, assist by Clint Capela 15-5
8:08   Out of bounds turnover on Royce O'Neale  
7:53   James Harden missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:50   Defensive rebound by Joe Ingles  
7:42   Derrick Favors missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:39   Defensive rebound by Chris Paul  
7:16   Clint Capela missed hook shot  
7:15   Defensive rebound by Royce O'Neale  
7:07   Bad pass turnover on Joe Ingles, stolen by Clint Capela  
7:00 +2 James Harden made driving layup 17-5
6:48   Donovan Mitchell missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:46   Defensive rebound by P.J. Tucker  
6:39 +2 Chris Paul made jump shot 19-5
6:18   Offensive foul on Donovan Mitchell  
6:18   Offensive foul on Donovan Mitchell  
6:10   James Harden missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:06   Defensive rebound by Jae Crowder  
5:58 +2 Donovan Mitchell made jump shot 19-7
5:43 +2 Eric Gordon made jump shot, assist by James Harden 21-7
5:30   Shooting foul on Clint Capela  
5:30   Team rebound  
5:30   Jae Crowder missed 1st of 2 free throws  
5:30 +1 Jae Crowder made 2nd of 2 free throws 21-8
5:22 +2 Eric Gordon made reverse layup 23-8
5:16   Joe Ingles missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:16   Offensive rebound by Rudy Gobert  
5:09 +2 Rudy Gobert made dunk 23-10
4:57   Eric Gordon missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:52   Offensive rebound by Clint Capela  
4:45 +3 Trevor Ariza made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by James Harden 26-10
4:26   Dante Exum missed driving layup  
4:23 +2 Dante Exum made dunk 26-12
4:23   Offensive rebound by Dante Exum  
4:06 +2 P.J. Tucker made hook shot, assist by James Harden 28-12
3:51   Joe Ingles missed driving layup  
3:48   Defensive rebound by Eric Gordon  
3:44 +2 Eric Gordon made reverse layup 30-12
3:33   Out of bounds turnover on Dante Exum  
3:23   Shooting foul on Dante Exum  
3:23 +1 Nene made 1st of 2 free throws 31-12
3:23 +1 Nene made 2nd of 2 free throws 32-12
3:11   Donovan Mitchell missed floating jump shot, blocked by Luc Mbah a Moute  
3:08   Defensive rebound by Nene  
2:54   James Harden missed driving layup, blocked by Dante Exum  
2:54   Team rebound  
2:44 +3 Jae Crowder made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Donovan Mitchell 32-15
2:26 +2 James Harden made floating jump shot 34-15
2:12   Donovan Mitchell missed jump shot  
2:12   Team rebound  
1:50 +3 Gerald Green made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Nene 37-15
1:37   Shooting foul on Gerald Green  
1:37 +1 Jae Crowder made 1st of 2 free throws 37-16
1:37 +1 Jae Crowder made 2nd of 2 free throws 37-17
1:25   Eric Gordon missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:22   Defensive rebound by Alec Burks  
1:17 +2 Alec Burks made floating jump shot 37-19
0:57 +2 Chris Paul made jump shot 39-19
0:47 +3 Alec Burks made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Raul Neto 39-22
0:40   Chris Paul missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:37   Defensive rebound by Jae Crowder  
0:32   Alec Burks missed driving layup  
0:30   Defensive rebound by Gerald Green  
0:27   Gerald Green missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:24   Defensive rebound by Derrick Favors  
0:07   Jae Crowder missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:03   Defensive rebound by Chris Paul  
0:00   Chris Paul missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:00   Team rebound  
0:00   End of period  

2nd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:41   Shooting foul on Dante Exum  
11:41 +1 Eric Gordon made 1st of 2 free throws 40-22
11:41 +1 Eric Gordon made 2nd of 2 free throws 41-22
11:33   Personal foul on Luc Mbah a Moute  
11:28 +3 Alec Burks made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Derrick Favors 41-25
11:13   Chris Paul missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:11   Defensive rebound by Dante Exum  
11:05   Dante Exum missed driving layup  
11:03   Defensive rebound by Nene  
10:54 +2 Chris Paul made jump shot 43-25
10:34   Lost ball turnover on Derrick Favors, stolen by Gerald Green  
10:32   Personal foul on Alec Burks  
10:14 +2 Chris Paul made turnaround jump shot 45-25
9:50   Dante Exum missed driving layup  
9:47   Offensive rebound by Dante Exum  
9:45   Jae Crowder missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:43   Defensive rebound by Trevor Ariza  
9:36   Shooting foul on Derrick Favors  
9:36 +1 Trevor Ariza made 1st of 2 free throws 46-25
9:36   Trevor Ariza missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
9:34   Defensive rebound by Jae Crowder  
9:17   Alec Burks missed driving layup  
9:16   Defensive rebound by Chris Paul  
9:12 +3 Eric Gordon made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Trevor Ariza 49-25
8:45   Derrick Favors missed layup, blocked by Clint Capela  
8:43   Defensive rebound by Luc Mbah a Moute  
8:34   Personal foul on Royce O'Neale  
8:23   Luc Mbah a Moute missed reverse layup  
8:21   Defensive rebound by Rudy Gobert  
8:17   Jae Crowder missed driving layup  
8:16   Defensive rebound by Luc Mbah a Moute  
8:09   Trevor Ariza missed reverse layup  
8:07   Defensive rebound by Rudy Gobert  
8:00   Rudy Gobert missed layup, blocked by Clint Capela  
7:57   Defensive rebound by Clint Capela  
7:54   Traveling violation turnover on Clint Capela  
7:33   Shooting foul on P.J. Tucker  
7:33 +1 Jonas Jerebko made 1st of 2 free throws 49-26
7:33 +1 Jonas Jerebko made 2nd of 2 free throws 49-27
7:12   Trevor Ariza missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:10   Defensive rebound by Rudy Gobert  
7:05 +3 Royce O'Neale made 3-pt. jump shot 49-30
6:37   P.J. Tucker missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:34   Defensive rebound by Royce O'Neale  
6:29 +2 Royce O'Neale made layup 49-32
6:07   Clint Capela missed layup  
6:05   Defensive rebound by Royce O'Neale  
6:01 +2 Royce O'Neale made layup 49-34
5:44 +2 Clint Capela made dunk, assist by James Harden 51-34
5:32   Donovan Mitchell missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:29   Defensive rebound by Clint Capela  
5:28   Out of bounds turnover on Clint Capela  
5:16   Donovan Mitchell missed driving layup, blocked by Clint Capela  
5:16   Team rebound  
5:14   Out of bounds turnover on Rudy Gobert  
4:52 +2 P.J. Tucker made jump shot, assist by Clint Capela 53-34
4:28 +2 Royce O'Neale made driving layup 53-36
4:16 +3 James Harden made 3-pt. jump shot 56-36
4:00   Joe Ingles missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:58   Defensive rebound by P.J. Tucker  
3:52   Offensive foul on Clint Capela  
3:52   Offensive foul on Clint Capela  
3:38   Lost ball turnover on Joe Ingles, stolen by James Harden  
3:32   P.J. Tucker missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:28   Defensive rebound by Royce O'Neale  
3:27   Personal foul on James Harden  
3:21 +2 Rudy Gobert made dunk, assist by Donovan Mitchell 56-38
3:05 +3 Eric Gordon made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Chris Paul 59-38
2:52   Bad pass turnover on Joe Ingles, stolen by Trevor Ariza  
2:48 +2 Trevor Ariza made driving layup, assist by Chris Paul 61-38
2:35 +2 Rudy Gobert made alley-oop shot, assist by Joe Ingles 61-40
2:20 +2 Chris Paul made jump shot 63-40
1:59   Bad pass turnover on Joe Ingles, stolen by Eric Gordon  
1:49 +2 Clint Capela made alley-oop shot, assist by James Harden 65-40
1:32   Donovan Mitchell missed jump shot  
1:32   Defensive rebound by Trevor Ariza  
1:15   Personal foul on Rudy Gobert  
1:15 +1 Chris Paul made 1st of 2 free throws 66-40
1:15 +1 Chris Paul made 2nd of 2 free throws 67-40
1:01   Personal foul on Eric Gordon  
0:54   Donovan Mitchell missed floating jump shot  
0:51   Defensive rebound by Chris Paul  
0:48 +3 Eric Gordon made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Chris Paul 70-40
0:36   Royce O'Neale missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:32   Defensive rebound by Clint Capela  
0:13   Chris Paul missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:11   Offensive rebound by Clint Capela  
0:00   James Harden missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:00   Team rebound  
0:00   End of period  

3rd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:44   James Harden missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:40   Defensive rebound by Joe Ingles  
11:21   Donovan Mitchell missed layup, blocked by James Harden  
11:19   Defensive rebound by James Harden  
11:16 +3 Chris Paul made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by James Harden 73-40
10:54   Lost ball turnover on Royce O'Neale, stolen by Chris Paul  
10:54   Personal foul on Donovan Mitchell  
10:44 +2 James Harden made floating jump shot, assist by Clint Capela 75-40
10:25   Backcourt turnover on Donovan Mitchell  
10:12   James Harden missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:09   Defensive rebound by Derrick Favors  
10:02 +3 Royce O'Neale made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Donovan Mitchell 75-43
9:37   Shooting foul on Donovan Mitchell  
9:37 +1 James Harden made 1st of 3 free throws 76-43
9:37 +1 James Harden made 2nd of 3 free throws 77-43
9:37 +1 James Harden made 3rd of 3 free throws 78-43
9:24   Rudy Gobert missed layup, blocked by Clint Capela  
9:24   Team rebound  
9:12   Chris Paul missed jump shot  
9:10   Defensive rebound by Rudy Gobert  
8:52   Royce O'Neale missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:48   Defensive rebound by P.J. Tucker  
8:40   James Harden missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:37   Defensive rebound by Donovan Mitchell  
8:29   Joe Ingles missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:27   Defensive rebound by Chris Paul  
8:01 +2 Trevor Ariza made driving layup, assist by James Harden 80-43
7:47 +2 Rudy Gobert made dunk, assist by Jae Crowder 80-45
7:24   Chris Paul missed fade-away jump shot  
7:21   Defensive rebound by Joe Ingles  
7:15 +2 Rudy Gobert made alley-oop shot, assist by Raul Neto 80-47
7:06   Personal foul on Raul Neto  
6:53   Trevor Ariza missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:50   Defensive rebound by Raul Neto  
6:35   Royce O'Neale missed driving layup  
6:34   Defensive rebound by Clint Capela  
6:29 +2 Clint Capela made layup, assist by James Harden 82-47
6:13   Jae Crowder missed jump shot  
6:10   Defensive rebound by James Harden  
6:05   James Harden missed jump shot  
6:02   Defensive rebound by Jae Crowder  
5:55   Joe Ingles missed fade-away jump shot  
5:52   Defensive rebound by P.J. Tucker  
5:36   Clint Capela missed hook shot, blocked by Rudy Gobert  
5:36   Team rebound  
5:30   24-second shot clock violation turnover  
5:25   Personal foul on Eric Gordon  
5:17   Jae Crowder missed floating jump shot  
5:16   Personal foul on Rudy Gobert  
5:16   Team rebound  
4:58   James Harden missed floating jump shot  
4:57   Offensive rebound by James Harden  
4:57 +2 James Harden made dunk 84-47
4:57   Shooting foul on Rudy Gobert  
4:57 +1 James Harden made free throw 85-47
4:54   Personal foul on Nene  
4:46 +3 Joe Ingles made 3-pt. jump shot 85-50
4:31 +3 Eric Gordon made 3-pt. jump shot 88-50
4:17 +2 Raul Neto made driving layup 88-52
4:10   Bad pass turnover on James Harden, stolen by Raul Neto  
4:05 +2 Dante Exum made reverse layup, assist by Jae Crowder 88-54
3:48   Bad pass turnover on Nene, stolen by Raul Neto  
3:45   Shooting foul on Nene  
3:45   Jae Crowder missed 1st of 2 free throws  
3:45   Team rebound  
3:45 +1 Jae Crowder made 2nd of 2 free throws 88-55
3:30   Personal foul on Dante Exum  
3:30 +1 James Harden made 1st of 2 free throws 89-55
3:30 +1 James Harden made 2nd of 2 free throws 90-55
3:15 +2 Raul Neto made fade-away jump shot 90-57
3:00   Eric Gordon missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:58   Defensive rebound by Alec Burks  
2:52   Shooting foul on Luc Mbah a Moute  
2:52 +1 Raul Neto made 1st of 2 free throws 90-58
2:52 +1 Raul Neto made 2nd of 2 free throws 90-59
2:32   Gerald Green missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:28   Defensive rebound by Raul Neto