Rockets Roll, 122-90

3-pointers from Rockets game 1 versus Utah Jazz

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.

10 QUESTIONS FOR TILMAN FERTITTA

Tilman Fertitta wants you to shut up and listen with new book

Photo by J. Thomas Ford

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

Tilman Fertitta can't lose. Sitting in his palatial office nestled in the towering Post Oak Hotel in Uptown, the sole owner of Fertitta Entertainment, the restaurant giant Landry's, the Golden Nugget Casinos and Hotels, and the NBA's Houston Rockets — not to mention the star of the TV reality show Billion Dollar Buyer — is taking a quick moment to bask in his success.

And why not? On top of being the world's richest restauranteur and Houston's most recognizable billionaire, Fertitta currently boasts a best seller with his new business book, Shut Up and Listen! As CultureMap reported, he just acquired Del Frisco's luxury steakhouse chain, adding to his impressive and extensive restaurant empire. And speaking of acquisitions: Soon, his Houston Rockets will unleash the powerhouse duo of James Harden and new teammate Russell Westbrook, who came to Houston in a massive trade with Oklahoma City.

Fertitta has just made the national media rounds promoting Shut Up and Listen! and looked quite comfortable doing so. "A lot of owners don't talk to the media and they don't know how to do it," he tells CultureMap, "but I've been doing it for 30 years and it just doesn't phase me."Shut Up and Listen! is a Tilman tell-all. But rather than a life story, the book is a how-to for the business-minded. No-nonsense nuggets such as the "Tilmanisms" teach principles such as the 95/5 rule (focus on the 5 percent of the operation that isn't perfect and fix it) and offer hardcore reminders such as "when things are bad, eat the weak and grow your business." Doubters, take note: Shut Up has landed on the Publishers Weekly's and USA Today's Best Sellers lists.

CultureMap sat down with Fertitta during a rare break to talk books, business, and his beloved Bayou City.

CultureMap: You’re a Texan titan of industry, a major local benefactor, you own one of the most buzzworthy teams in all of pro sports, and you’re the star of your own reality TV show. Can we now say — in Houston — that you’re way bigger than Mark Cuban?

Tilman Fertitta: [Laughs] Oh, I don't know about that. Mark is a special guy and we're lucky to have him in Texas.

CM: You’ve been actively involved with the Rockets and the University of Houston sports programs. Using your 95/5 rule, can you share any of the 5 percent of what you found wrong with the Rockets and UH?

TF: At UH, the 5 percent was we wanted to have good coaches and we wanted to improve our facilities. That's the 5 percent we realized that if we wanted to compete at the highest level of basketball and football, that's what we'd have to do.

For the Rockets, we're gonna make sure we can put the basketball team we can on the court with the best coaches every single year. I'm not a sit-on-my-hands guy — it's let's keep getting better.

CM: Why is giving back to your hometown important to you?

TF: This is where I grew up and Houston's been very good to me. I've been around a long time and I've watched people come and go in the '80s, the '90s, the 2000s, and the 2010s. It's fun to have lasted this long and been a player through so many decades.

CM: There’s an old adage that says, ‘Do one thing and do it well.’ But you’re doing a lot of things well. When do you know, as a business owner, to diversify?

TF: Systems and operations are very important. Everybody wants to do more deals. If you understand the Big Box Theory, you make more out of a bigger box. In the beginning, I knew I always wanted to be successful. Today, I know what I know and I know — and what I don't know.

Continue on CultureMap to learn which books inspired Tilman Fertitta, and much more.

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