Rockets Roll, 122-90

3-pointers from Rockets game 1 versus Utah Jazz

James Harden - Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets/Facebook

The fourth seeded Houston Rockets began their 2019 postseason campaign Sunday night against the fifth seeded Utah Jazz just slightly before the entire planet had wrapped up watching the Game of Thrones season premiere. Houston dominated early and often throughout the contest, with the only real threat coming as Utah had driven the lead down to 8 points in the second. The Rockets would regroup however and cruise to a 122-90 blowout. Houston leads the best of seven series, 1-0

Not tired yet

James Harden has been the subject of ridicule in the past few seasons for fading in the playoffs due to his regular season usage. That narrative held little weight Sunday night as Harden erupted for 29 points 10 assists and 8 rebounds. Harden was able to get any shot he wanted, which then forced Jazz players to leave their assignments to try and help out. When that happened, Harden would kick the ball out to the resulting open teammate for a wide open look.

Help from all over

Throughout the majority of the 2019 campaign, Harden has been the lone scoring threat which has lead to some lopsided box scores in terms of point distribution. Sunday night was a trend in a different direction, as seven Rockets posted double digit scoring performances. Eric Gordon was second behind Harden with 17, followed by Clint Capela with 16, Chris Paul with 14, and PJ Tucker, Kenneth Faried, and Danuel House Jr. each with 11.

Ice Cold

While the Rockets fired fired off a cool 15-41 from beyond the arc, The Utah Jazz simply couldn't buy a bucket out there Sunday night. Though a top ten team in three-point shooting percentage throughout the regular season, Utah was anything but in game one as the went 7-27 from three. Having an off night from deep is something Houston fans can relate to as being a momentum killer, and when facing a Rockets team that is knocking their shots down with the volume they maintain it becomes very hard to keep up.

Rockets Player of the Game

James Harden: 29 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds, 1 block

Jazz Player of the Game

Rudy Gobert: 22 points, 1 assist, 12 rebounds, 1 block

Next up

The Rockets play game two against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, 4/17 at 8:30 pm central.

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Justin Verlander will start for the Astros on Friday night. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.

Houston Astros (22-28, third in the AL West) vs. Oakland Athletics (21-31, fourth in the AL West)

Oakland, California; Friday, 9:40 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Astros: Justin Verlander (2-2, 3.97 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 26 strikeouts); Athletics: Ross Stripling (1-8, 5.19 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 32 strikeouts)

BETMGM SPORTSBOOK: LINE Astros -170, Athletics +142; over/under is 8 1/2 runs

BOTTOM LINE: The Oakland Athletics begin a three-game series at home against the Houston Astros on Friday.

Oakland has a 21-31 record overall and a 12-14 record in home games. The Athletics have hit 65 total home runs to rank third in the AL.

Houston is 22-28 overall and 8-13 in road games. The Astros have a 13-4 record in games when they did not allow a home run.

The teams match up Friday for the fifth time this season. The Astros lead the season series 4-0.

TOP PERFORMERS: Brent Rooker has 11 home runs, 17 walks and 32 RBI while hitting .286 for the Athletics. Max Schuemann is 12-for-35 with a double and two RBI over the past 10 games.

Kyle Tucker leads Houston with 17 home runs while slugging .638. Alex Bregman is 9-for-38 with three home runs and six RBI over the last 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: Athletics: 2-8, .225 batting average, 5.25 ERA, outscored by 27 runs

Astros: 7-3, .272 batting average, 3.13 ERA, outscored opponents by 20 runs

INJURIES: Athletics: Esteury Ruiz: 10-Day IL (wrist), Darell Hernaiz: 60-Day IL (ankle), Alex Wood: 15-Day IL (rotator cuff), Paul Blackburn: 15-Day IL (foot), Joseph Boyle: 15-Day IL (back), Freddy Tarnok: 60-Day IL (hip), Luis Medina: 60-Day IL (knee), Sean Newcomb: 60-Day IL (knee), Aledmys Diaz: 60-Day IL (calf), Miguel Andujar: 10-Day IL (knee), Ken Waldichuk: 60-Day IL (elbow), Trevor Gott: 60-Day IL (elbow)

Astros: Oliver Ortega: 60-Day IL (elbow), Bennett Sousa: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Penn Murfee: 60-Day IL (elbow), Luis Garcia: 60-Day IL (elbow), Lance McCullers Jr.: 60-Day IL (elbow), Jose Urquidy: 15-Day IL (forearm), Kendall Graveman: 60-Day IL (elbow)

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