Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz came into Game 2 against the Houston Rockets looking to prove a point. They wanted to prove that they belonged and could compete with the best team in the Western Conference from the regular season. To keep it short, they not only made the point that they could compete, but they also showed that they have the talent to beat the Rockets.
After taking care of business against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round, the Jazz are trying to shock the NBA. Knocking the Rockets out is not going to be an easy task, but the Jazz have the makeup of a team that could push Houston to a long, competitive series.
Utah ended up winning the game by a final score of 116-108. Joe Ingles led the way in scoring for the Jazz with 27 points, knocking down seven threes in nine attempts. Mitchell recorded a double-double with 17 points and 11 assists, with Alec Burks (17), Jae Crowder (15), Rudy Gobert (15), and Derrick Favors (10) all scoring in double figures as well.
As usual, James Harden led the Rockets with 32 points and 11 assists, with Chris Paul having another big offensive game with 23 points. Clint Capela scored 21 points to go along with 11 rebounds and Eric Gordon came off the bench with 10 points.
All of that being said, what three things can the Jazz take away from their Game 2 win over the Rockets?
Jazz tie the series and snap their 11-game losing streak in the conference semifinals. pic.twitter.com/9zEorJpFsq— ESPN (@espn) May 3, 2018
Shooting the Three Is Key
Utah has shot the three well all season long and it showed in Game 2, shooting 15-for-32 from beyond the arc. If the Jazz are able to continue shooting the three at a high level, they will give the Rockets some trouble. Houston shoots the three with the best of them and the Jazz need to find ways to match them.
Jazz Defense Can Give the Rockets the Blues
See what we did there with this point? Houston shot just 27.0 percent from the three-point line, which isn’t something that normally happens. Utah is capable of playing lockdown defense every night when they put their minds to it and that will be a major key for them to compete in this series.
Donovan Mitchell Needs to Continue Stepping Up as a Point Guard
Ricky Rubio was the quarterback of the Jazz offense, but is being forced to miss time due to injury issues. Mitchell has taken over point guard duties for Utah and did an excellent job in Game 2. He will need to continue stepping up as a point guard and getting his teammates open looks for the Jazz to compete in this series.