Saturday, April 19, 2008

Jazz-Rockets -- Game 1 thread

Utah wins, 93-82.

We've had a rather lengthy garbage/foul time here. Jazz up, 90-80, with one minute to go.

McGrady, guarded by Kirilenko, just pointed for the ball to go to the other side of the floor. He didn't want it. Just what you're looking for from your superstar.

Harpring just locked down on McGrady, twice stopping his drives, leading to a loose-ball foul. Kirilenko just rejected Scola with his left hand at the rim. I originally picked the Jazz in 5, but this is looking more and more like a sweep. I just don't see how the Rockets can keep up. The scenario tonight should repeat itself three more times.

Boozer just beat Mutombo to a missed free-throw offensive rebound. He lays it in and then adds a bucket off a feed from Williams. Utah, 79-64.

Williams buries a 3. Utah, 75-63.

Utah in control, wearing down the Rockets a bit, picking up some fouls. At the other end, the Jazz executed three shut-downs on one possessions (Williams denied Brooks on a drive, Kirilenko closed out Battier and chased him off a 3, and Harpring thwarted Landry on the block.

Jazz lead, 68-60, after 3, using an 11-3 run to close the quarter.

Korver, again for 3. Utah, 67-59.

Korver, I mean Ashton Kutcher, knocks down a long 3. Utah leads, 64-59.

Boozer picks up his fourth foul with 6:27 to go in the third and leaves the game.

Boozer answers with a jumper, layin on the break and a putback. Jazz back in front, 57-53.

McGrady gets two more inside, following his own miss. Scola chases down a loose ball. Rockets, with their bench up, leads, 53-51.

McGrady to Scola on the break. Tie game, 51-all, three minutes into the third quarter.

Battier for 3 from the corner. Rockets within 3, 49-46.

Kirilenko leads the way with 12 for Utah. Who saw that coming?

McGrady's late 3-pointer caps a 14-7 run to close the first half for the Rockets, who trail, 47-41.

Mehmet Okur on a drive is not a pretty sight.

I was surprised earlier this season, after Yao had already been shelved for the season, that several Chinese media members were continuing to follow the team. What I didn't realize, however, is that the Rockets have basically become China's NBA team. So, even though Yao is out, China is following Houston's journey. They know Battier, McGrady, Mutombo, Scola, Alston, etc.

McGrady fouled, drops to one knee, holds his left side. He's falling apart before our very eyes.

Another offensive rebound, another basket. 38-25, Jazz.

Jazz have 10 offensive rebounds so far, lead 34-22. Mutombo and Scola back into the game.

Jazz have eight offensive rebounds so far, lead 32-20.

McGrady sits down for the first time; Rockets down 28-20. Can they stay close?

Jazz asserting themselves now, lead 23-18 after 1.

I love the NBA commercials. The split screen of Shaq/Kobe talking at the same time? Pretty cool. The new Jordan commercial that ends with "excuses" is well-done too.

15-13, Jazz, 2:49 to go.

Millsap just rejected Mutombo from behind. I realize he's 41 years old, but is it possible to have a slower release and less lift on a shot than what Mutombo is pulling off. It's not he had smooth shot when he was a kid either.

McGrady's left shoulder is wrapped with padding. Less than three minutes in, he just grimaced for the first time. If you had less than three minutes if the office pool, you win. With Yao and Alston already out with injuries, this is not a good development for the Rockets.

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