Utah Jazz Even Series With Rare Win In Houston

joe ingles utah 2018Joe Ingles led the Jazz with a career-high 27 points to help the Utah Jazz even the Western Conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets at one with a 116-108 win.

Ingles made a career-best seven three-pointers and Donovan Mitchell added 17 points and a franchise rookie-record 11 assists, marking his first game this postseason where he scored fewer than 20 points and didn’t lead the team in scoring.

The Jazz squandered a huge early lead before using a big fourth quarter to regain control and head home for Game 3 on Friday in Utah with a chance to take a series lead over the top-seeded Rockets.

The Jazz were behind by two with eight minutes left before using a 16-2 run to pull away.

After trailing by 25 points at halftime of the 110-96 loss in the series opener, the Jazz jumped out to an early lead in this one and led by as many as 19 in the first half.

Houston regained the lead in the third quarter but couldn’t keep pace with the Jazz in the fourth as their normally potent offense went cold.

James Harden had 32 points and 11 assists, and Chris Paul added 23 points as Houston fell to the Jazz for the first time this season after winning the first five meetings.

The Jazz put together a balanced scoring effort on a night in which six players finished in double figures.

Houston was down by one entering the fourth, but Utah scored eight straight points on three-pointers from Dante Exum and Jae Crowder.

Utah scored another eight straight points, with two threes from Ingles, to make it 108-96 with 4:30 left to play.

Harden then led Houston on a 9-3 run that got the Rockets within 111-105 with 1:46 left. But Rudy Gobert made one of two free throws before Exum put it out of reach with a dunk.

Utah led by nine before Houston used a 16-5 run to go up 71-69 for its first lead since it was 6-5 with about seven minutes left in the third. The Jazz went back up 86-85 by the end of the period.

After taking just four shots in Game 1, having no blocks and scoring just 11 points, Gobert finished the night with 15 points, three blocks, and 14 rebounds.

The series moves to Utah where Game 3 is Friday and Game 4 will be played on Sunday.

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