undergroundnewsroom.com May 27, 2018

Donovan Mitchell unleashes absolutely vicious slam vs. Houston Rockets

03 May 2018, 02:24 | Nina Mathis

Donovan Mitchell unleashes absolutely vicious slam vs. Houston Rockets

Donovan Mitchell unleashes absolutely vicious slam vs. Houston Rockets

There's no reason to doubt the fearless, short-handed Jazz after they toppled the Houston Rockets in Toyota Center Wednesday with a 116-108 win in Game 2 over the Western Conference's No. 1 seed, evening up this second-round series at 1-1.

Mitchell is having an incredible postseason, as he helped guide the Jazz past the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round and was the first rookie to score 20-plus in his first six playoff games since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. "We adjusted to it in that second quarter, but we can't get down 19 no matter who we're playing".

The notoriously low-key Harden, when told by a reporter that he looked irritated by Utah's defense on Wednesday, said, "I look like that all the time".

For the whole season, he made 204 long-distance shots on 464 attempts for 44 percent - which is fifth in the National Basketball Association in 3-point field goal percentage, behind Klay Thompson, Otto Porter, Reggie Bullock, and Darren Collison.

"Last game, we came out completely opposite".

After trailing by 25 points at halftime of the 110-96 loss in the series opener, the Jazz jumped out to an early lead in this one and led by as many as 19 in the first half. Ingles was a ideal three for three from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter alone.

After the Rockets got two points back on a Harden floater, Utah responded when Mitchell blew past Trevor Ariza into the lane and found Joe Ingles wide open in the corner for a 3 after the defense rotated to try to stop him at the rim. Gordon had 15 but shot 5/16 and the rest of the Rockets (6 players) scored just 17 points. At the point, everyone watching the game likely felt the Rockets would end up pulling away, but the Jazz finished the game on a 24-14 run in the final eight minutes.

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But Joe Ingles was the story of the day.

"I just happened to be up there", he said. And surely I don't have to remind you of prior playoff struggles from the Rockets' two stars, Chris Paul and James Harden.

The Rockets inbounded the ball from the sideline and went right back to Harden, who forced another switch on Mitchell.

"We had some time to think about, and talk about what we do", Ingles said post-game. But Rudy Gobert made one of two free throws before Exum put it out of reach with a dunk.

But they could hold on only so long, because eventually Harden was coming back into the game. From that point, it was about getting to halftime for the Jazz, holding off the inevitable Houston flurry, in whatever form it might take. He racked up five assists in the first quarter and made excellent reads in the pick-and-roll. "It's just a question of how far and how quickly, and I thought they cut that gap and not only made it a game, but basically took control of the game". "We'll take this win, but we got three more (to go)".

"I mean, I got some good looks early from my teammates", Ingles said.

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