Houston Rockets drop game 2 to Utah Jazz; series tied 1-1

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But after Harden picked up his fourth foul midway through the quarter, Utah swung back again, and actually held a one-point lead going into the fourth.

Despite a surge in the second and third quarters, the Rockets, who had the best regular-season record in the National Basketball Association, couldn't get back into the game.

"They were just too comfortable", Paul said. Houston shot just 27.0 percent from the three-point line, which isn't something that normally happens. The Houston Rockets have split their last six road games.

Next, the series shifts to Utah, which will host Game 3 on Friday night.

For the whole season, he made 204 long-distance shots on 464 attempts for 44 percent - which is fifth in the National Basketball Association in 3-point field goal percentage, behind Klay Thompson, Otto Porter, Reggie Bullock, and Darren Collison. From that point, it was about getting to halftime for the Jazz, holding off the inevitable Houston flurry, in whatever form it might take.

"They came out with some thrust in that first half and they made shots, but they were wide-open shots", Harden said.

It won't show up in the box score, but the X factor in Wednesday's game was Jazz guard Dante Exum.

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Exum had nine points for the game, including a thunderous right-hand dunk in the final minute that sealed the game and had his team-mates jumping off the bench. Mitchell had an off shooting night, going 6-of-21 for 17 points, but he dished out a career-best 11 assists, the most in franchise history by a rookie in the playoffs, breaking John Stockton's record.

"You can't put any one guy and hang that on one player", Snyder said of Exum's defense on Harden. He smiled broadly when it was brought up postgame, and said he was just trying to get the rebound on his miss when he made a split-second decision. "I think Dante has some size and some length and we've had confidence in Dante taking hard matchups".

But the Jazz had two days between Games 1 and 2.

"They made adjustments", said Rockets forward Luc Mbah a Moute. He racked up five assists in the first quarter and made excellent reads in the pick-and-roll.

We know Mitchell is an explosive scorer, but developing as a playmaker will be a key factor in determining his ceiling. They were slipping a lot because they know that we switch. After blowing a 19-point lead and trailing by 5, the Jazz roared back in the 4th to tie this series at one apiece.

The Rockets rolled to a 110-96 win in Game 1, leading by 25 points at halftime. At the end of the first quarter of Game 2, the Jazz led by 8. "Understand how they were going to guard me and when you have the big fella (Rudy Gobert) rolling as fas he did, making the right plays to kind of predict what the defense was going to do next". So I said: "'Why come down with it?"

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