Jazz blown out in Game 2, 118-98

Jazz role players like Joe Ingles Jae Crowder and others all struggling in Houston series

Jazz role players like Joe Ingles Jae Crowder and others all struggling in Houston series

Houston posted a 55.0% first half effective field goal percentage (eFG%) and they also posted the league's best first half offensive efficiency of 117.4.

James Harden's commanding performance during Wednesday night's 118-98 Game 2 victory over the Utah Jazz put the Houston Rockets All-Star in the history books.

So, yes, the Rockets are rightfully the favorites in their Western Conference first-round matchup.

No matter how well you play in the regular season, it's the playoffs that determine whether or not you're going to win an National Basketball Association championship.

While Houston owned the perimeter, the Jazz fared well around the hoop, outscoring the Rockets 58-38 in the paint.

Dominating Game 2 on both ends of the floor right from tip-off the Rockets have now won both their home games by a combined margin of 52 points.

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The Jazz once again cut a big deficit into a slightly less embarrassing one in the third quarter only to see the Rockets finish the frame strong. If they can't do better than 20-plus percent from beyond the arc, this playoff series will be offer quick.

"The Rockets are playing at an unbelievably high level", Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. Their energy, particularly on the defensive end, and around the basket sparked the team and ballooned the lead back to 24 quickly. We played poorly, and we have to be better.

More importantly, those teams have gone 11-1 straight-up in Game 2s, winning by 9.9 points per game. Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell is terrific, but he's only in his second season. The Rockets shot over 50% from the field; the Jazz shot under 40%.

One thing that will kill nearly any team playing Houston is their ability for seemingly anyone of their guard or wing players to knock down multiple three-pointers.

Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian.

Their careers are ruined now that Jazz rookie guard Grayson Allen has appeared on national TV.

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