However, Utah was actually able to steal a game in Houston in that series, taking Game 2. "That's not who any of us are and like I said this morning, 'we're not afraid.' You saw it tonight and we're going to keep playing". If the Jazz couldn't find a way to put away game three, they're probably not going to win a game this series, as I highly doubt Harden has another off night like that again.
In the unfriendly confines of the Vivint Smart Home Arena, the Jazz's relentless game plan of steering the reigning (and possible future two-time) MVP to his right hand forced misfire after misfire. Though it's tempting to frame this through the prism of Houston winning in spite of Harden's efforts, they needed every bit of his 22 points and 10 assists to pull this one out.
Harden gave little credit to the Jazz defense for his shooting performance.
Even with Harden struggling to knock down shots, the Rockets never trailed by double-digits in this game, with their role players keeping them afloat as P.J. Tucker, Gerald Green, Danuel House, Eric Gordon, and Austin Rivers combined to shoot 11-of-25 from the three-point line, combining for 49 points.
The teams combined for 72 free throws and at least one player hit the hardwood on nearly every call.
A wide open Donovan Mitchell fired off a potential game-tying 3-point attempt off an inbounds pass from Ricky Rubio with just seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of Game 3. But even with those substandard numbers, Harden did more than enough to help his team survive. Paul, who didn't play in that Game 7 last season, chipped in 18 points and two 3-pointers.
"We didn't shoot the ball well and we still won".
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Royce O'Neale, who played tenacious defense on Harden, made a 3-pointer for Utah's last lead at 89-88.
"Nope, just missed a couple of shots".
Gobert had 10 points, eight rebounds and seven blocked shots.
After two slow starts in Houston, the Jazz came out energized with a deafening crowd hanging on every basket.
Mitchell vowed to be more aggressive and apologized for being a "no show" early in the series.
Rudy Gobert said that the Jazz need to compete with the same intensity the rest of the series.