Monday , Apr , 21 , 2008 Christopher Sells

Houston Rockets Lose 84-90 to Utah Jazz – Chris Recaps the Game

Houston Rockets Lose 84-90 to Utah Jazz - Chris Recaps the Game

Win or go home. Actually, win or go on the road and face steep odds that could result in you going home. And not playing again until next season. Or something like that.

Faced with the possibility of going to Salt Lake City down 2-0 to the Jazz, the Rockets produce a better effort than in Game One, but still lose 90-84. While the team is hopefully just thinking about one game at a time, others are readying their brooms, preparing for what they believe will be a sweep.

The effort was there for the entire game, but it came down to the little things. Hitting free throws (61.5%) and point-blank shots (about 20 misses, by my count) and getting clutch rebounds were the difference in the game. All of those things are ingredients to playoff success, which, clearly, the Rockets haven’t had any of this season.

Tracy McGrady will undoubtedly take heat for yet another loss and another fourth quarter without a made field goal. But with a line of 23 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists, three steals and two blocked shots, T-Mac was the only reason the team was in the game. He took over at times, he tried to involved his teammates and was largely successful. Yes, he had five turnovers. With him being the only real threat on the floor and having the ball in his hands that much, such things will happen.

What it comes down to is Utah having a better group of players and doing what they had to do to get this win. Andrei Kirilenko’s flop and Kyle Korver’s buzzer beater proved to be the two plays that clinched the win, made possible by a stupid grab by Luis Scola and bad team rebounding, respectively.

So it’s on to Game Three, where Houston will hopefully get Rafer Alston back and perhaps can rally together to get a win then concentrate on Game Four. Utah’s 37-4 home record means that the Rockets have their work cut out for them. The crowd will be loud and the pressure will definitely be on.

It’s the Playoffs and there is no time to make excuses. It’s time to put up or shut up. The team will likely return home from Utah Saturday night. The only question is whether they’ll be preparing for Game Five or for next year.