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[FINAL] Utah Jazz give it all they got but can’t keep up with Rockets

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The Utah Jazz will be without Ricky Rubio for yet another game. Can Utah beat the odds and tie the series?

NBA: Playoffs-Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Ground Rules

Welcome to the SLC Dunk Live Thread. This is new as we’ll have game updates throughout it. Dunkers know how this thing works, but for you lurkers ready to make the jump to Dunker, we have a few guidelines. Remember to follow our community guidelines (no swearing, trolling, excessive use of Jerry Sloan’s name in vain, no personal attacks, no debates about Utah liquor laws, etc.). Remember to have fun. Anyone who dare blasphemes that Tim Duncan was a Power Forward or John Stockton is not the best point guard of all-time will receive an automatic ban. Just kidding. But seriously.


4th Quarter

Utah Jazz 87 - Houston Rockets 100

This is what happens when you run out of weapons and options. The Houston Rockets have been where the Utah Jazz are. Built to their peak but just missing that one extra piece. Now with Chris Paul, they’re unstoppable. The fact that Utah has stolen one game in this series while down their starting point guard is enough to start writing the silver lining story about this Jazz team. The fact that Utah is even hear is enough to write every single silver lining. But that would be disrespectful for this Utah Jazz team. They have time and time again not settled for good enough. They haven’t used their shortcomings as an excuse.

Donovan Mitchell finally got going in this game, but it was after he started out the game slow. He finished with 25 points and got to the line 7 times. But he finished 8 for 24. He had 9 rebounds and 4 steals. Beyond Joe Ingles (15) and Rudy Gobert (11), no Jazz player was in double figures. Utah losing Dante Exum to a hamstring soreness was the nail in the coffin tonight. Utah was starting to gain momentum and Exum’s injury sucked all the air out of the building. Luckily, it’s only hamstring soreness so he won’t go into yet another offseason recovering from a major injury.

If this was the last game Jazz fans see at home of their team, they should be proud. Against all odds, injuries, and a Sunday start time (REALLY, NBA?), the Utah Jazz fought hard, never gave up, and, at the end of day, succumbed to a team that is probably the best offensive team in the game right now and is starting to figure itself out defensively. If Houston continues, then the Western Conference Finals will in actuality be the NBA Finals.


3rd Quarter


2nd Quarter

Utah Jazz 48 - Houston Rockets 58

Utah actually played a much better quarter. They were only outscored by 3 but the Houston Rockets punched back every time Utah got a clean hit. James Harden has 18 points and Chris Paul has 12 points. The rest of Houston’s role players haven’t had a monster impact. The biggest development was Donovan Mitchell finally figuring out Houston’s defense, ergo Clint Capela. He has 15 points, Dante Exum has 9 points. Utah needs everyone else to step up. They can’t have Joe Ingles be in single digits or they lose this game. Same goes for Gobert. This game is actually way closer than the score appears. Utah’s defense is doing it’s part holding back Houston’s monster of an offense, but Utah can’t bumble their way on their offensive end and expect their defense to bail them out.


1st Quarter

Utah Jazz 23 - Houston Rockets 30

Utah’s defense came to play tonight. When you look at Houston’s scoring total you might not think so, but Utah’s defense has made them work. Unfortunately, to beat the Rockets you need your offense to step up. Harden continues to be referees like he’s covered in bubble wrap. He’s put Dante Exum in foul trouble after referees bought into his theatrics. Donovan Mitchell hasn’t exploded tonight while Utah has been using him as a decoy. Jazz are missing Rubio.

Dante Exum has put in big time minutes, but so far he’s the Royce O’Neale of this game. A role player having a big game while no one else has shown up.

Pregame

5:48pm. We’re about 10 minutes out from the start of this game. While the Jazz are only down in this series 2-1, tonight feels like an elimination game for Utah. Utah will be without Ricky Rubio’s services once again as he is still rehabbing that sore hamstring. Derrick Favors will be limited tonight but still play. That will force Jae Crowder into the starting lineup. Even with a healthy Favors, it was hard to imagine an outcome in which Crowder wasn’t starting at this juncture. Houston’s stretch offense has made it impossible for Utah to keep Favors and Gobert together. Utah was not able to impose their size on Houston so they had to relent and make the counter. Now it’s up to Quin Snyder to force Houston to make the next move.


Game Info

When: 6:00PM MT • Sunday May 6, 2018

Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena · Salt Lake City, Utah

TV: TNT

Radio: 1280 AM/97.5 FM The Zone,

Injuries:

Utah Jazz:

Thabo Sefolosha - Knee - OUT

Ricky Rubio - Hamstring - OUT

Pride - Punch to the gut - Game time Decision

Houston Rockets:

No one.