Rockets Roll, 122-90

3-pointers from Rockets game 1 versus Utah Jazz

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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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Houston drops the game to Arizona

D-backs outslug Greinke and Astros to take series opener

Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

With the series win over the Rangers by taking two of three games in the middle of the week, the Astros welcomed the Diamondbacks to Minute Maid Park for a three-game weekend series, Houston's final three regular-season home games. Here is how the opener unfolded:

Final Score: Diamondbacks 6, Astros 3.

Record: 25-26, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Zac Gallen (2-2, 3.00 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Luis Garcia (0-1, 2.53 ERA).

Houston scores first, but Arizona grabs a lead against Greinke

Houston would get on the board first on Friday night, with George Springer reaching base in the bottom of the first on an error, moving to second on a walk, then to third on a single, as the Astros loaded the bases with no out to threaten a big inning. Instead, they would come away with just one run, with Springer taking home on a wild pitch, grabbing the 1-0 lead, but leaving runs on the table.

They doubled their lead in the bottom of the third, getting a two-out RBI-double by Kyle Tucker to make it a 2-0 Houston lead. The D-backs responded in the top of the fourth, getting back-to-back singles to lead off the inning before a three-run homer by Kole Calhoun off of Zack Greinke would put Arizona in front, 3-2. Greinke would finish one more inning before Houston would move to their bullpen, striking out the side to bring his total to nine on the night, making the bad fourth inning the one blemish on his night. His final line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 1 HR, 89 P.

Astros tie it, but D-backs take the opener

George Springer would get Greinke off the hook in the bottom of the fifth, leading off the half-inning with a solo bomb to tie the game at 3-3. Luis Garcia was first out of Houston's bullpen and retired Arizona in order for a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the sixth. He returned for the top of the seventh but would allow a leadoff single, RBI-triple, and wild pitch to bring in two runs. He would face two more batters, allowing a double and getting a strikeout, before Dusty Baker would come out to get him, now down 5-3.

Blake Taylor would make his return from the IL after Garcia, getting back-to-back outs to finish the inning. He continued on in the 5-3 game in the top of the eighth, but allowed a one-out solo homer to Calhoun, his second of the night and fourth RBI. That made it a 6-3 D-backs lead, which would go final as Houston would go scoreless after Springer's home run back in the fifth.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will start Saturday at 6:10 PM Central. The pitching matchup will be Luke Weaver (1-7, 6.70 ERA) for Arizona and Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.22 ERA) for Houston.

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