Jazz defense not a game for small ball rockets, James Harden scored 38 in victory

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<p class = "Artboard-Atom Artboard-Text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "SALZSTADT (AP) – The team tries to get creative to protect that Houston Rockets, “data-reactid =” 12 “>SALZSTADT (AP) – The team tries to get creative to guard the Houston Rockets.

<p class = "Artboard-Atom Artboard-Text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Russell Westbrook doesn’t think the tricks are effective. “data-reactid =” 13 “>Russell Westbrook doesn’t think the tricks are effective.

<p class = "Artboard-Atom Artboard-Text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "James Harden Westbrook shrugged and scored 38 points. He faced the two-time defensive player of the year Rudy Gobert and had 34 and the Rockets beat them Utah jazz Saturday evening between 120 and 110. “data-reactid =” 14 “> James Harden shrugged his shoulders and scored 38 points, Westbrook faced the two-time defensive player of the year Rudy Gobert and 34 still had and the Rockets hit Utah Jazz 120-110 on Saturday night.

“I don’t know if it works. I get what I want. I get to the basket. I shoot. I drive and kick. The pace and speed you can’t look for,” said Westbrook.

Harden (13 for 23, 6 3-points) and Westbrook (14 for 26) were efficient all night and the Rockets drove a big third quarter until their third consecutive win.

“It obviously didn’t work,” said Harden when asked if he wanted to put the 7-foot-1 Gobert on the 6-3 Westbrook.

<p class = "Artboard-Atom Artboard-Text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Eric Gordon and Ben McLemore each scored 12 from the bank for Houston. “data-reactid =” 18 “>Eric Gordon and Ben McLemore scored 12 each from the bench for Houston.

<p class = "Artboard-Atom Artboard-Text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Donovan Mitchell scored 31 and Jordan Clarkson had 22 for jazz, which reduced the Rockets’ lead a few times to seven in the fourth quarter, but could never get closer. “data-reactid =” 19 “>Donovan Mitchell scored 31 and Jordan Clarkson had 22 for jazz, which reduced the Rockets’ lead a few times to seven in the fourth quarter, but could never get closer.

The Rockets would let jazz pay if they occasionally worked twice with Harden and couldn’t turn to the perimeter shooters quickly enough. After a season with 25 3-pointers in their last game against Golden State, the Rockets made 20 out of 48 from a distance.

“We have two people, even more than two, who can put pressure on the rim. The teams will come and help and then our shooters will have open shots, ”said Harden.

The Rockets made their move in the third quarter when they left Jazz 38-19 behind.

“If we don’t shoot, it really affects our defense.” Still, in the third quarter, I thought we didn’t have the energy we needed on the defensive. We didn’t get our hands on the balls, we didn’t get any distractions, and we only fouled once, which says a little bit about our aggressiveness, ”said Utah coach Quin Snyder.

Westbrook ended a 14: 2 run with a jumper and Houston led 100: 85 to the finals.

“It’s cash when you watch like that,” Westbrook said.

The Rockets made eight of their first nine 3-point attempts to take an early 8-point lead.

Clarkson took advantage of Houston’s lack of rim protection and scored 20 points in the first half to help jazz recover and get ahead.

Jazz sometimes played zone defense along with some non-traditional defensive matchups against the small ball rockets.

“Every game was different, so we just have to find out how they will protect and attack us. If they catch me, we’ll open 3s. If they play us regularly, we will carry out our offense and still get it, ”said Harden.

When Harden and Westbrook roll, unique strategies don’t seem to matter.

“We have two of the best 1-on-1 players in the world. What are you going to do? “Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Jazz lost to him San Antonio Spurs on Friday night and could hardly afford another slip in the second half of their duel as they fought for the playoff position with the Rockets in the last third of the season. “data-reactid =” 32 “> The Jazz lost to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night and could hardly afford another slip in the second half of their duel as they fought for the playoff position with the Rockets in the last third of the season ,

Houston and Utah both now have 36 to 20 records, but the Rockets won the season 2-1.

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