NBA Playoffs: Houston vs Utah, OKC vs Portland

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NBA Playoffs: Houston vs Utah, OKC vs Portland

Joshua Case, Contributor

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Two of the biggest playoff games in the 2019 NBA Playoffs have just concluded in Round One. These two matchups were those of The Houston Rockets versus the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder versus the Portland Trail Blazers. These series’ were both filled with exciting action, and back and forth playing, not just a clean sweep by one team. Another thing that made these things so memorable was that they had a majority of all-stars on each four of the teams: the Trail Blazers have Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, the Thunder had Paul George, Russell Westbrook, and Steven Adams, the Rockets have James Harden, Chris Paul, Clint Capella, Eric Gordon, and PJ Tucker, and the Jazz had  Donovan Mitchell, Ricky Rubio, and Rudy Gobert.

The Trail Blazers came out strong against the Thunder team that everyone thought would go extremely far in the Playoffs, as Portland came out and won the first three games of the series. A rivalry in these set of games quickly came out between Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook along with Paul George. In all of the games of the series, Lillard, Westbrook and George all scored more than twenty points (ESPN). After the first three games went to Portland, because the series is best out of seven and Portland only needed to win one more game to knock out the Thunder, The Oklahoma City Thunder came out playing for their entire season, as it all came down to this one game. The Thunder, mostly due to contributions of George, Westbrook, and Adams, were able to win the fourth game in the series and forced a game five that would be played in Portland Oregon. At the end of this game, it came down to a last second shot by Lillard while being guarded by George, the shot being from about 37 feet away from the basket (ESPN), which Lillard made to win the game and eliminate the Thunder from the playoffs.

The set of games that were between the Rockets and the Jazz unfolded very similarly to those of the Thunder and Trail Blazers. The Rockets jumped out to a three to none lead in the series, the third coming on a very close game in Utah. In game four, the Jazz came up with a game plan to cut out much of the contributions of scoring of both James Harden and Chris Paul. With this plan working against the two main point contributors of the rockets, the Jazz were able to notch a win in the series that forced the two teams to play a game five in the city of Houston. In this game, the game plan that seemed to work so well for the Jazz in game four did not have the same effect, as both James Harden and Chris Paul were able to again give notable point contributions towards the score of their team, leading the Jazz to a close-scored loss and an elimination from the playoffs.

http://www.espn.com/nba/scoreboard

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