Rockets will need more energy to win in Utah for game 3

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Eyewitness Sports' David Nuno asks you what the Rockets will need heading into game three. (Like David on Facebook: ABC13DavidNuno)

"Very lazy...almost lackadaisical."

Basketball hall-of-famer and analyst Reggie Miller saw a Houston Rockets team that just allowed the Utah Jazz to breeze to a 19-point lead in the first half of game two on Wednesday.

While it's a stinging assessment for a team that won 65 games in the regular season and has made strides in improving their defense, the Rockets may have very well been playing in first gear.


Ironically enough, Utah on the offensive end mirrored much of the Rockets' signature moves. The Jazz have enough weapons to attack the lane but also pop the ball out to the perimeter for three. Joe Ingles, Dante Exum, and Donovan Mitchell were the key benefactors in game two when it came from shots from the arc.

Utah made 15 three-pointers to Houston's 10 inside Toyota Center.

And if the threes weren't going down, Utah had a way to break spirits with rim-rocking slams, mostly from Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.

Houston actually had the slim advantage in paint points, 50-48, mostly coming from Clint Capela scores.

In order to keep the hostile Vivint Smart Home Arena crowd quiet for games three and four, Houston will have to see those three pointers fall, as well as keep the lanes and perimeter clogged.

The Rockets will also have to get the maximum effort from role players. In the 116-108 loss on Wednesday, we saw glimpses of fire from the likes of P.J. Tucker, who, despite scoring just five points, attacked the boards in route to a 10-rebound night.

Houston will also need to get Chris Paul going. He's capable of taking over a game, as seen in previous playoff series in his career, but he'll have to give up relying on James Harden on becoming the game-changer.

Houston won its last two games in Salt Lake City, with the latest being a 96-85 comeback victory on Feb. 26, which came directly a night after another road game in Denver.

The Western Conference semifinal series is tied 1-1. Game three is set for an 9:30 p.m. tip-off Friday. Game four is set for an 7 p.m. start Sunday.

Eyewitness Sports is in Utah for the Rockets' Playoff Run. Like the Facebook pages of Greg Bailey, Bob Slovak, and David Nuno to interact with them throughout the playoffs.
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