If the Jazz can’t find a way to slow down James Harden, Utah’s opening-round series against the top-seeded Rockets is going to be over quickly. After Harden torched the Jazz for 41 points in Houston’s Game 1 win, the Rockets have a chance to take a 2-0 series lead when the teams square off tonight in Houston.
The game is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on TNT. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch the game live on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
How to Watch Rockets vs. Jazz Online Without Cable
Hulu With Live TV: In addition to a Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live TV channels, including TNT. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
DirecTV Now: TNT is included in all four of DirecTV Now’s channel packages. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, and you can then watch the game live on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.
Sling TV: TNT is included in either the “Sling Orange” or “Sling Blue” base package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial of either, and you can then watch the game live on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app
Jazz-Rockets Game 2 Preview
The fifth-seeded Jazz, who beat the fourth-seeded Thunder in six games, were one of only two lower seeds to win a first-round series. They did so in impressive fashion, with rookie Donovan Mitchell going off for 38 points in the series-clinching Game 6 victory.
Things were a lot different against the Rockets, who won an NBA-best 65 games in the regular season and earned the top seed in the Western Conference. It didn’t help that Utah had a quick turnaround after the Oklahoma City series, or that the team was without point guard Ricky Rubio, who’s out with a hamstring injury and will also be sidelined for Game 2.
Game 1 was more of a blowout than the 110-96 final score may indicate. Houston led by 13 at the end of the first quarter and by 25 at the half before the Jazz narrowed the deficit slightly in the third quarter. The biggest problem for Utah: The Rockets shot 53 percent from 3-point range. And though Harden was the biggest factor, shooting 7-for-12 from beyond the arc, he wasn’t alone. PJ Tucker (3-for-5), Chris Paul (3-for-6) and Trevor Ariza (2-for-4) combined to shoot 8-for-15 from 3. Utah got 21 points apiece from Mitchell and Jae Crowder, but that wasn’t nearly enough.
Harden was as dominant as ever during the regular season this year, and hes been just as good, if not better, in the playoffs, averaging 31 points per game. His Game 1 showing was the third time in six playoff games that he’d scored 36 or more points, and the second time he’d scored 41 or more. He’s had one awful performance: A 12-point showing in Game 2 of the Rockets opening round series against the Timberwolves in which he shot 1-for-10 from the floor. The scary thing for Jazz fans looking for hope: Houston still managed to win that game 102-82 thanks to 27 points from Chris Paul and 21 from Gerald Green.
Sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com list the Rockets as 11-point favorites in Game 2, and as massive -4000 favorites to win the series. Those odds are identical to the odds of the Warriors beating the Pelicans, despite Golden State already being up 2-0.