Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets 4/29/18, Prediction & Odds

Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons

Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons

In the process, he became just the fourth rookie in National Basketball Association history to score at least 35 points in a playoff series-clinching win. Houston built most of their lead in the first half, but Utah outscored them in the second by 11 points. Chris Paul chipped in 17 points. Paul is averaging 19.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, and 6.6 APG. But Utah's defensive makeup serves as a really intriguing potential kryptonite to the Rockets' ultra-efficient offense, and the Jazz should-at the very least-be able to push to six games. It's a lot to ask of a rookie coming off a slugfest series to move on to play on the road against the best team in the National Basketball Association, but Mitchell clearly didn't have the kind of assertiveness that made him so eye-poppingly awesome in Round 1. The Jazz did quite a number on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Round 1 and hope to continue that trend.

Rudy Gobert may not be enough to stop the Rockets.

Beyond his top-level scoring ability, Mitchell has shown to be a highly athletic player that has made numerous impressive plays at the rim. Averaging 28 PPG, he has been the offensive catalyst in times of need for the Jazz. Mbah a Moute missed the first-round series after dislocating his shoulder in the penultimate game of the season. The Rockets have the ability to explode at any moment with barrages of threes. Houston was 10-of-16 from beyond the arc in the first half alone, with PJ Tucker and Harden leading the way.

Elsewhere in the Eastern Conference first round, LeBron James scored the winning three-pointer as the Cleveland Cavaliers claimed a narrow 98-95 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

How does Harden consistently make it look so easy against such an elite defense?




The Utah Jazz had a day off on Monday, and it was much needed.

Donovan Mitchell is going to jack up a lot of shots in this series, because it's the only way that Utah will have a chance to steal a game. Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson have torched the Jazz before. They hit 75.4 percent at the charity stripe. With Rubio out, the Jazz moved Mitchell to point guard and inserted Royce O'Neale into the starting lineup. Utah continued to fight in the fourth and managed to close the gap to 14-points by the end of the game, 110-96.

Mitchell scored 38 points in the final game against the Thunder.

If there's a bright spot for the Jazz, it may be that Harden's 3-point shooting (7 for 12) might not be sustainable. Those are good signs if you're a Jazz fan, as it seems like they found their footing and got a little more comfortable once they realized they weren't playing Portland anymore.

It will be interesting to see if the Rockets can cover once again.

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