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Harden's Triple-Double Leads Game Two Blowout

Rockets take 2-0 series lead

April 18, 2019 - 12:48 am

HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610)- The Rockets will head to Salt Lake City leading their Western Conference First Round series 2-0 after beating the Utah Jazz in game two 118-98.

James Harden led all scorers with 32 points on 11-of-22 shooting. He knocked down 6-of-12 three-pointers and 4-of-5 free throws to go with 13 rebounds and 10 assists for his third career playoff triple-double. Chris Paull added 17 points, while Eric Gordon scored 16.

The Rockets led the entire night, forcing turnovers on the Jazz's first two possessions. Houston scored five points off those turnovers, and thanks to Harden's 17-points led Utah 39-19 after a quarter. After a Derrick Favors put-back dunk started the second quarter, Gordon connected from long distance to put the Rockets up 21, but The Jazz scored the next seven points only to see the Rockets answer with a 10-3 burst. Houston scored the final nine points of the first half and took a 26-point lead into the locker room. Harden led everyone with 25 points, while Royce O'Neale's 10 points topped the Jazz.

After halftime, the Jazz battled to within 17 when Rudy Gobert knocked down a pair of free throws with 4:52 left in the third quarter, but Austin Rivers' triple with 22.1 second left in the quarter capped a 14-3 run that ended the quarter. The closest Utah got in the fourth quarter was 18 points.

The Rockets shot 47 percent from the field and connected on 16-of-39 three-pointers while the Jazz shot just 38 percent, 7-of-37 from behind the three-point line.

Ricky Rubio's 17-point, nine assist night led the Jazz. O'Neale and Favors scored 14. 

Donovan Mitchell was held to 11 points on 5-of-19 shooting. 

Game three will be Saturday night.