UTA
HOU

No Text

Harden scores 29 as Rockets rout Jazz 122-90 in Game 1

HOUSTON (AP) The Utah Jazz tried to force the left-handed James Harden to his right to make things more difficult on him on Game 1 of their first-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets on Sunday night.

Didn't matter much to Harden and the Rockets though. He still led the team in scoring and helped facilitate solid offensive nights from everyone else in the starting lineup in the lopsided win.

Harden had 29 points and 10 assists to help the Rockets rout the Jazz 122-90 in the opener of the best-of-seven series.

Houston's entire starting lineup had at least 10 points. Eric Gordon had 17, Clint Capela scored 16, Chris Paul added 14 and P.J. Tucker had 11.

''They throw something at him and they might get him a little bit and he figures it out and they don't get him anymore,'' coach Mike D'Antoni said about the defensive strategy on Harden. ''He's so good offensively it makes me laugh. He's just so good I don't know what you do ... you're not stopping him. I don't care what you do.''

Harden wasn't surprised at Utah's defensive tactic.

''I've seen literally every defense you can possibly see,'' he said. ''So it was just a matter of adjusting and continuing to communicate with the guys of what spots they needed to be in.''

The Rockets had a double-digit lead for most of the game, but the Jazz got within five points midway through the third quarter before Houston used a big run to pull away and sail to the victory.

''The third quarter we got some stops and we didn't get shots on the other end and that's tough to overcome,'' Jazz coach Quin Snyder said.

It's the second consecutive year the teams have met in the postseason after the Rockets eliminated Utah in five games in the second round last season.

Game 2 is Wednesday night in Houston.

Houston was up by 15 in the fourth quarter before Harden, who had eight rebounds, scored six points in a 9-2 run that stretched the lead to 108-86 with four minutes left and both teams cleared their benches about a minute after that.

Rudy Gobert had 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Jazz after not scoring more than 15 points in a game in the playoff series against the Rockets last season. Donovan Mitchell had 19 points, but did not have an assist as the Jazz went long stretches without scoring.

Mitchell was disappointed with his assist-to-turnover ratio.

''No assists. Five turnovers. That's huge,'' he said. ''You can't have no assists and five turnovers.''

Ricky Rubio started after missing four of the last five games of the regular season with a quadriceps injury. Rubio, who finished with 15 points, didn't play against Houston in the playoffs last season after injuring his hamstring in a first-round series win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Houston had a 12-point lead entering the fourth quarter and an 8-0 spurt, with two 3-pointers from Danuel House, extended it to 95-75 with nine minutes remaining.

The Rockets led by 17 when Harden re-entered the game about a minute later. 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 Rockets were up by 15 at halftime, but Utah opened the second half with a 10-3 run, with six points from Gobert, to cut it to 62-54 with nine minutes left in the third.

The Jazz got within five with a shot from Mitchell later in the third, before the Rockets scored next 10 points, with a 3 from Gordon and a three-point play from Harden, to make it 76-61 with about four minutes left in the quarter.

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.

Utah cut into the lead a bit after that and trailed 83-71 after three.

TIP-INS

Jazz: Derrick Favors had 13 points. ... Utah went 7 for 27 on 3s. ... The Jazz had 18 turnovers. ... Jae Crowder scored nine points off the bench.

Rockets: D'Antoni was back on the sideline after missing Houston's last three regular-season games with an intestinal virus. ... Hall of Famer and former Rocket Hakeem Olajuwon watched the game from a courtside seat. ... Houston made 15 3-pointers, led by four from Harden.

CAPELA'S HEALTH

Capela played despite dealing with an upper respiratory infection that kept him out of practice two days this week. Houston's center said he still wasn't feeling great and hopes he's better by Wednesday.

''It was hard,'' he said. ''I would say it was probably my toughest game ... it felt kind of hard to breathe like I'm used to.''

THEY SAID IT

Mitchell on moving on after the blowout loss: ''Honestly we could have won this game by 90 or lost this game by 90 ... for us it's just about making adjustments and not overreacting to what happened.''

UP NEXT

After Game 2 on Wednesday the series moves to Utah for Game 3 on Saturday and Game 4 on April 22.

---

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Copyright 2019 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

1st Quarter

Time Team Play Score
12:00   Jumpball  
11:36   Donovan Mitchell missed floating jump shot  
11:34   Defensive rebound by Clint Capela  
11:17   Defensive rebound by Joe Ingles  
11:03   Personal foul on James Harden  
10:53 +2 Ricky Rubio made jump shot, assist by Joe Ingles 2-0
10:34   Clint Capela missed layup  
10:34   Defensive rebound by Ricky Rubio  
10:25 +2 Rudy Gobert made dunk, assist by Derrick Favors 4-0
10:12 +2 Clint Capela made alley-oop shot, assist by James Harden 4-2
9:52 +2 Donovan Mitchell made driving layup 6-2
9:33   Offensive rebound by Clint Capela  
9:27 +2 P.J. Tucker made reverse layup, assist by Eric Gordon 6-4
8:59   Bad pass turnover on Chris Paul, stolen by Derrick Favors  
9:03 +2 Ricky Rubio made layup, assist by Derrick Favors 8-4
8:56 +3 Eric Gordon made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by James Harden 8-7
8:56   Shooting foul on Joe Ingles  
8:56 +1 Eric Gordon made free throw 8-8
8:45   Shooting foul on P.J. Tucker  
8:45 +1 Derrick Favors made 1st of 2 free throws 9-8
8:45 +1 Derrick Favors made 2nd of 2 free throws 10-8
8:25   Clint Capela missed hook shot  
8:23   Defensive rebound by Rudy Gobert  
8:06   Out of bounds turnover on Donovan Mitchell  
7:54 +2 Clint Capela made reverse layup, assist by P.J. Tucker 10-10
7:43 +2 Ricky Rubio made fade-away jump shot 12-10
7:33 +2 Chris Paul made jump shot 12-12
7:14   Out of bounds turnover on Ricky Rubio  
7:02 +3 James Harden made 3-pt. jump shot 12-15
6:36 +2 Derrick Favors made dunk, assist by Ricky Rubio 14-15
6:15 +2 Eric Gordon made driving layup, assist by P.J. Tucker 14-17
6:03 +3 Donovan Mitchell made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Ricky Rubio 17-17
5:45 +3 James Harden made 3-pt. jump shot 17-20
5:31   Donovan Mitchell missed jump shot  
5:27   Offensive rebound by Rudy Gobert  
5:11 +2 James Harden made driving layup 19-22
4:57   Defensive rebound by Austin Rivers  
4:41 +2 James Harden made floating jump shot 19-24
4:16   Ricky Rubio missed fade-away jump shot  
4:13   Defensive rebound by Clint Capela  
4:05   Danuel House Jr. missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:02   Defensive rebound by Royce O'Neale  
3:48   Donovan Mitchell missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:42   Defensive rebound by Danuel House Jr.  
3:33   James Harden missed floating jump shot  
3:21   Defensive rebound by P.J. Tucker  
3:08 +2 James Harden made floating jump shot, assist by Clint Capela 19-26
2:54 +1 Ricky Rubio made 1st of 2 free throws 20-26
2:54 +1 Ricky Rubio made 2nd of 2 free throws 21-26
2:44   Traveling violation turnover on Austin Rivers  
2:27   Lost ball turnover on Derrick Favors, stolen by Chris Paul  
2:19   HOU team rebound  
2:19   Personal foul on Kyle Korver  
2:12 +2 Kenneth Faried made dunk, assist by Chris Paul 21-28
1:58   Out of bounds turnover on Joe Ingles  
1:50   Personal foul on Raul Neto  
1:41 +3 Danuel House Jr. made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Chris Paul 21-31
1:28   Shooting foul on Danuel House Jr.  
1:28 +1 Jae Crowder made 1st of 3 free throws 22-31
1:28 +1 Jae Crowder made 2nd of 3 free throws 23-31
1:08   Danuel House Jr. missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:59   Defensive rebound by Raul Neto  
0:41   Defensive rebound by Danuel House Jr.  
0:26   Gerald Green missed reverse layup  
0:25   Defensive rebound by Jae Crowder  
0:00   HOU team rebound  
0:00   End of period  

2nd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:43   Out of bounds turnover on Chris Paul  
11:21   Raul Neto missed jump shot  
11:17   Defensive rebound by Kenneth Faried  
11:08 +2 Gerald Green made jump shot, assist by Chris Paul 24-33
10:54 +2 Derrick Favors made alley-oop shot, assist by Joe Ingles 26-33
10:30   Eric Gordon missed driving layup, blocked by Derrick Favors  
10:27   Offensive rebound by Eric Gordon  
10:26   Eric Gordon missed jump shot  
10:25   Defensive rebound by Derrick Favors  
10:10 +2 Derrick Favors made reverse layup, assist by Raul Neto 28-33
9:55   Chris Paul missed fade-away jump shot  
9:45   Personal foul on Kenneth Faried  
9:37   Jae Crowder missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:33   Defensive rebound by Gerald Green  
9:22   Shooting foul on Derrick Favors  
9:22 +1 Eric Gordon made 1st of 2 free throws 28-34
9:22 +1 Eric Gordon made 2nd of 2 free throws 28-35
8:40   Defensive rebound by Royce O'Neale  
8:33   Shooting foul on Gerald Green  
8:33 +1 Derrick Favors made 1st of 2 free throws 31-35
8:21   James Harden missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:18   Defensive rebound by Donovan Mitchell  
8:07   Royce O'Neale missed driving layup  
8:05   Defensive rebound by James Harden  
7:50 +2 Chris Paul made floating jump shot 31-37
7:41   Offensive foul on Rudy Gobert  
7:16   HOU team rebound  
7:17   24-second shot clock violation turnover  
6:54   Thabo Sefolosha missed jump shot  
6:51   Defensive rebound by James Harden  
6:28   Lost ball turnover on Rudy Gobert, stolen by P.J. Tucker  
6:22 +2 James Harden made finger-roll layup 31-41
5:48   UTA team rebound  
5:28   Ricky Rubio missed driving layup  
5:20   Clint Capela missed alley-oop shot  
5:20   Offensive rebound by James Harden  
5:20   Personal foul on Ricky Rubio  
5:10   Defensive rebound by Royce O'Neale  
5:05 +3 Ricky Rubio made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Thabo Sefolosha 34-41
4:46   Eric Gordon missed turnaround jump shot  
4:44   Defensive rebound by Rudy Gobert  
4:40   Personal foul on Eric Gordon  
4:31   Joe Ingles missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:18 +3 P.J. Tucker made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by James Harden 34-44
3:48 +2 Clint Capela made dunk, assist by James Harden 36-46
3:33   Jae Crowder missed jump shot  
3:23 +3 P.J. Tucker made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by James Harden 36-49
3:07   Bad pass turnover on Rudy Gobert, stolen by P.J. Tucker  
2:59 +3 James Harden made 3-pt. jump shot 36-52
2:43 +2 Donovan Mitchell made finger-roll layup 38-52
2:32 +3 P.J. Tucker made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by James Harden 38-55
2:13 +3 Jae Crowder made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Rudy Gobert 41-55
2:03   Personal foul on Ricky Rubio  
1:53 +2 Clint Capela made alley-oop shot, assist by James Harden 41-57
1:35   UTA team rebound  
1:21   Lost ball turnover on Chris Paul, stolen by Joe Ingles  
1:25   Defensive rebound by Eric Gordon  
1:19   UTA team rebound  
1:19   Shooting foul on Chris Paul  
1:19 +1 Jae Crowder made 2nd of 2 free throws 42-57
1:19   UTA team rebound  
1:08   Offensive rebound by Clint Capela  
1:10   James Harden missed floating jump shot  
1:02   Defensive rebound by Ricky Rubio  
1:07   Clint Capela missed hook shot  
1:02   Defensive rebound by Ricky Rubio  
1:02   Personal foul on P.J. Tucker  
1:02 +1 Ricky Rubio made 1st of 2 free throws 43-57
1:02 +1 Ricky Rubio made 2nd of 2 free throws 44-57
0:49   Eric Gordon missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:33   Donovan Mitchell missed driving layup, blocked by James Harden  
0:42 +2 Clint Capela made reverse layup, assist by P.J. Tucker 44-59
0:32   UTA team rebound  
0:19   Defensive rebound by Chris Paul  
0:22   Jae Crowder missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:19   Defensive rebound by Chris Paul  
0:01   James Harden missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:00   Defensive rebound by Jae Crowder  

3rd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:32   Out of bounds turnover on Donovan Mitchell  
11:22   Bad pass turnover on Chris Paul, stolen by Donovan Mitchell  
11:15   Offensive rebound by Rudy Gobert  
11:02   Bad pass turnover on James Harden, stolen by Ricky Rubio  
10:49 +2 Rudy Gobert made finger-roll layup, assist by Joe Ingles 48-59
10:32 +1 Eric Gordon made free throw 48-62
10:18   Defensive rebound by Clint Capela  
10:08   Defensive rebound by Joe Ingles  
9:56 +2 Derrick Favors made layup 50-62
9:49   Lost ball turnover on Eric Gordon, stolen by Joe Ingles  
9:56 +2 Derrick Favors made dunk 50-62
9:49   Lost ball turnover on Eric Gordon, stolen by Joe Ingles  
9:45 +1 Rudy Gobert made 2nd of 2 free throws 52-62
9:45 +1 Rudy Gobert made 1st of 2 free throws 51-62
9:45 +1 Rudy Gobert made 2nd of 2 free throws 52-62
9:28   Clint Capela missed layup  
9:25   Defensive rebound by Rudy Gobert  
9:20 +2 Ricky Rubio made finger-roll layup 54-62
9:01 +2 Clint Capela made alley-oop shot, assist by Chris Paul 54-64
8:45 +3 Joe Ingles made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Derrick Favors 57-64
8:32 +2 Clint Capela made alley-oop shot, assist by James Harden 57-66
8:19 +2 Rudy Gobert made alley-oop shot, assist by Ricky Rubio 59-66
8:08   James Harden missed jump shot  
8:04   Defensive rebound by Donovan Mitchell  
7:57 +2 Donovan Mitchell made jump shot 61-66
7:42   Offensive rebound by James Harden  
7:40   James Harden missed layup  
7:39   Personal foul on Ricky Rubio  
7:34 +2 Clint Capela made dunk, assist by James Harden 61-68
7:19   Personal foul on James Harden  
7:08   Out of bounds turnover on Donovan Mitchell  
6:54   Defensive rebound by Joe Ingles  
6:50   Personal foul on James Harden  
6:37   Defensive rebound by Clint Capela  
6:34   Personal foul on Donovan Mitchell  
6:27   Out of bounds turnover on Rudy Gobert  
6:15   Defensive rebound by Rudy Gobert  
5:45   Offensive rebound by Clint Capela  
5:43 +3 Eric Gordon made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Clint Capela 61-71
5:26   Out of bounds turnover on Derrick Favors  
5:15   James Harden missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:12   Defensive rebound by Donovan Mitchell  
5:01   Defensive rebound by James Harden  
4:54   Shooting foul on Rudy Gobert  
4:54 +1 James Harden made free throw 61-74
4:47   Personal foul on Austin Rivers  
4:20   Offensive foul on Royce O'Neale  
4:20   Turnover on Royce O'Neale  
3:55   Jae Crowder missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:52   Team rebound  
3:44   Shooting foul on Royce O'Neale  
3:44   Defensive rebound by Rudy Gobert  
2:59   Personal foul on Kenneth Faried  
2:59   Full timeout called  
2:59 +1 Rudy Gobert made 2nd of 2 free throws 66-79
2:27   UTA team rebound  
2:27   Donovan Mitchell missed free throw  
2:19 +3 Donovan Mitchell made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Joe Ingles 69-81
1:59   Defensive rebound by Derrick Favors  
1:53   Lost ball turnover on Donovan Mitchell, stolen by Austin Rivers  
1:53   Jumpball  
1:43 +2 Kenneth Faried made dunk, assist by Chris Paul 69-83
1:26   Personal foul on Kenneth Faried  
1:26 +1 Jae Crowder made 2nd of 2 free throws 71-83
0:57   Jae Crowder missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:55   Team rebound  
0:26   Royce O'Neale missed driving layup  
0:25   Defensive rebound by Kenneth Faried  
0:03   Kenneth Faried missed hook shot  
0:00   End of period  

4th Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:49   Shooting foul on Gerald Green  
11:49 +1 Kyle Korver made 1st of 3 free throws 72-83
11:35   Personal foul on Kyle Korver  
11:25 +2 Chris Paul made driving layup 73-85
11:08 +2 Derrick Favors made dunk, assist by Joe Ingles 75-85
10:49   Shooting foul on Derrick Favors  
10:49 +1 Kenneth Faried made 2nd of 2 free throws 75-87
10:39   Personal foul on Chris Paul  
10:26   Derrick Favors missed layup, blocked by Clint Capela  
10:22   Defensive rebound by Chris Paul  
10:06   Jae Crowder missed finger-roll layup  
9:52 +2 Chris Paul made driving layup 75-92
9:25   Donovan Mitchell missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:25   UTA team rebound  
9:27   24-second shot clock violation turnover  
9:15   Personal foul on Kyle Korver  
9:08 +3 Danuel House Jr. made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Chris Paul 75-95
8:53   Shooting foul on Austin Rivers  
8:53 +1 Donovan Mitchell made 1st of 2 free throws 76-95
8:53 +1 Donovan Mitchell made 2nd of 2 free throws 77-95
8:42   Personal foul on Kyle Korver  
8:36 +2 Chris Paul made jump shot 77-97
8:00   Defensive rebound by Kyle Korver  
7:58   Traveling violation turnover on Donovan Mitchell  
7:45 +2 Danuel House Jr. made driving dunk, assist by James Harden 80-99
6:54 +2 Rudy Gobert made reverse layup 82-99
6:32   Offensive foul on James Harden  
6:32   Turnover on James Harden  
6:24   Shooting foul on Clint Capela  
6:24 +1 Rudy Gobert made 2nd of 2 free throws 84-99
5:49   Ricky Rubio missed reverse layup  
5:43 +2 Rudy Gobert made dunk 86-102
5:43 +2 Rudy Gobert made dunk 86-102
5:36   Offensive goaltending turnover on Clint Capela  
5:18   Thabo Sefolosha missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:07 +2 James Harden made driving layup 86-104
4:32   Shooting foul on Rudy Gobert  
4:32 +1 James Harden made 2nd of 2 free throws 86-106
4:22   Joe Ingles missed driving layup  
4:23   Offensive rebound by Rudy Gobert  
4:09   James Harden missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:09   James Harden missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:05   Defensive rebound by Rudy Gobert  
3:56