Houston Rockets Take Game 1 Behind Harden's 41-Point Performance

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With AP Photos.James Harden scored 41 points as the Houston Rockets raced out to a huge lead and sailed to a 110-96 win over the Utah Jazz in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.

"We've still got to go out and compete and try to make it hard on him and hopefully guard him, but I don't think there's any mystery to what a good player he is". Utah, meanwhile, just didn't have the firepower to match Houston. We've seen pretty much it all, all year. The Rockets ran, getting out on the break and punishing the shorthanded Jazz from the 3-point line.

The Cavaliers pulled down 11 offensive rebounds in the first half and in shot a respectable 54.8 per cent in the half, but their 31 attempts from the floor were 17 fewer than Cleveland's. Houston had built a 25-point lead, hanging 30 on the vaunted Jazz defense in both quarters.

Houston's offensive weapons, led by James Harden, are going to give the Jazz fits as the regular season results reflect. Conversely, Utah ranked 15th in offense for the season and are 10th in the playoffs. They trailed by 13 after the first quarter and with their potent offence clicking, the Rockets pushed that lead to 27 with less than two minutes left in the first half.

The Utah Jazz, a relentless team that fought its way from nine games under.500 in late January all the way to the Western Conference semifinals, had put itself in position to perhaps pull off another awesome rally.

Law enforcement agencies participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
He and his wife Michelle dropped off medicine they no longer needed. Dozens participated at several locations in the Tri-States.

Donovan Mitchell and Jae Crowder each put up 21 points in the loss. Joe Ingles had 15 points, six rebounds, and five assists, but shot just 1-of-3 from deep.

Utah arguably recorded the shock of the first round after beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 4-2. It won't get any easier for Utah, either.

Quin Snyder and company are without question disappointed that they couldn't steal Game 1, but they didn't beat the Thunder in Game 1 either. Mitchell's health will be something to keep an eye on as his tissue responds over the next few days.

The Jazz have had nearly no time to rest or prepare for the best team in the National Basketball Association.

There will be times in game one where the Jazz defense will frustrate them and create bad possessions.

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