Houston 122, Utah 90; Jazz drop Game One

Mike D’Antoni’s stomach virus aside Rockets are relatively healthy for this series

The seventh-seeded Spurs stole Game 1 on the road from the second-seeded Nuggets, but it was White who stole the show.

The double team was only effective because the Nuggets kept missing wide open shots which only encouraged the Spurs to keep doubling Jokic. "It is important because they are both great players and they are going to continue to get a lot of attention throughout the series". They beat that average in Game 1, committing 19 with their two best players - Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert - combining for nine. So our work is not done with him.

Legacy Ladder: Finally, one of the most memorable topics about last night's game. Dario Saric missed on the other end and Paul Millsap hit another 3-pointer with 1:30 left to pull Denver within two.

"To be honest, nothing", Jokic said Saturday when asked what the triple-double debut meant.

"We didn't let Jokic play as he wanted and they didn't let LaMarcus play as much as he wanted", Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.

So we move on to the total, and this is where things get really spicy. Give them credit: They did a helluva job. "When you do that, it puts pressure on the offense to try to make the right plays". As a result, Harden ended up with 29 points, 10 assists and 8 rebounds, content in the first half to dish off to his teammates before cranking it up offensively later in the game.

They also got key contributions from players like Eric Gordon and Danuel House to go with solid play from the big three of James Harden, Chris Paul and Clint Capela.

For the Nuggets to come out victorious in the next game I would like to see Nikola Jokic take on more of the scoring responsibilities.

"It's one game, and you have to learn from it, but I can't have no assists and five turnovers", Mitchell said. "That was big for us, because we all got some juice from it and I thought it kind of settled him down, and got back into rhythm".

The Nuggets made a strong push in the third quarter by holding the Spurs to just 13 points.


Getting increasingly anxious for Kyle Korver's status, not only in Game 1, but throughout this series.

Jamal Murray scored 17 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 31 seconds left that put Denver up 96-95.

Game 2 is Wednesday night in Houston.

White turned the ball over with 1:09 left and the Nuggets down by one, but Murray missed a 3-pointer and then an open 18-footer and the Nuggets turned the ball over twice, the last coming on White's steal against Murray in the backcourt as the Nuggets' guard was bringing the ball up the court with a chance to tie the score with a 3-pointer.

The Denver Nuggets were hardly a trendy pick to be a top-three team in the Western Conference.

Following Game 1, a frustrated Murray spent close to an hour shooting on the Nuggets' practice floor. "Started fouling and running around, but after that I settled down and just played another game", he said. I know I'll have another opportunity in Game 2.

"It's a good preparation for us going into the playoffs", Millsap said.

After leading by 15 at the half, the Jazz went on a run to start the third quarter, cutting it to 5.

I expect Mike Malone to clean this up for the next game.

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