Published: Mon, April 15, 2019
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Houston Rockets vs. Utah Jazz - 4/17/19 NBA - Playoffs Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Houston Rockets vs. Utah Jazz - 4/17/19 NBA - Playoffs Pick, Odds, and Prediction

The Rockets only make it harder on themselves if they allow the Jazz to get out to an early lead or a strong shooting start.

Houston made headway by holding its own on the glass and defending with vigor, limiting Utah guard Donovan Mitchell to 19 points on 7-of-18 shooting and the Jazz to 39.0 percent shooting.

The Rockets are putting up 113.9 points per game on offense while shooting 44.9 percent from the field and 35.6 percent from the arc. This isn't the matchup any Jazz fan was hoping for or wanted, but it apparently was the one the basketball gods wished for as the final two days of the NBA regular season were nothing but pure chaos to produce this result.

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.

Eric Gordon chipped in 17 points for Houston, which shot 50.5 percent and posted a 42-41 advantage on the glass. Jokic did finish with a triple-double, tallying 14 rebounds and 14 assists, but only notched 10 points on 4 of 9 shooting.

The Rockets seized control midway through the first quarter, and while Utah rallied to within five points in the third, Houston found answers in the form of Chris Paul (14 points, seven assists) and Danuel House Jr., who added 11 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. Still, Houston has won eight of their last 10.

The Jazz are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven road games against a team with a winning home record and 20-5-1 ATS in their last 26 games following a loss. Western Conference and 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall.

These two split the season series, but Houston took the last two meetings. He had 43 points and 12 rebounds in a 125-98 win at Utah on February 2 the last time the clubs met.

They had a few rim-shattering dunks and 3-point makes, proving to be a huge spark off the bench for the Rockets. The Rockets get whatever they want offensively and they defended their tail off, particularly the three-point line. But the Rockets have been the best team in the second half for good reason. I think the Rockets and Harden will score at a pace that the Jazz just can't sustain, especially down the stretch.

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