Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: The Houston Rockets were on fire at the Vivint Arena, Friday night for a 113-92 blowout victory over the Utah Jazz to take back command of their Western Conference Semifinals series 2-1.
The Rockets raced out early to a 20-point lead in the first quarter and never looked back from there behind hot shooting from Eric Gordon, who scored 17 points in the first half on 6-of-8 from the field, including 3-of-5 from downtown. He finished with a game-high 25.
James Harden likewise added 25 points and 12 assists for the Rockets, while Chris Paul chipped in 15 points of his own, to go along with seven rebounds, six assists, and zero turnovers.
Royce O’ Neale scored 17 points. Alec Burks chipped in 14 points while Rudy Gobert added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Jazz.
Utah never got on track on offense. The Jazz shot poorly over the first three quarters and committed 16 turnovers
Derrick Favors Favors totaled two points, two rebounds and two assists in 13 minutes. Donovan Mitchell scored only 10 points after going just 4-of-16 from the field.
The Rockets led by as many as 22 in the first quarter, taking a 37-15 lead on back-to-back baskets from Harden and Gerald Green.
Utah cut Houston’s lead 49-34 midway through the second quarter after O’ Neale scored three straight baskets to fuel a 9-0 run. Clint Capela ended the run with a dunk and the Rockets proceeded to outscore the Jazz 31-9 over a 10 minute stretch extending into the third quarter. They pushed their lead to 80-43 on a driving layup from Ariza with 8:01 left in the quarter.
Game 4 is on Sunday at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City.