Jazz's Mitchell: Decision to dunk happened midair

Jazz's Mitchell: Decision to dunk happened midair

Mitchell had an off shooting night, going 6-of-21 for 17 points, but he dished out a career-best 11 assists, the most in franchise history by a rookie in the playoffs, breaking John Stockton's record.

Donovan Mitchell is averaging 27.4 points and three assists while Joe Ingles is averaging 14.3 points and 3.9 rebounds.

Utah came out of a timeout following Gordon's shot and a driving Donovan Mitchell found a wide-open Dante Exum in the corner for a 3-pointer of his own, his second of the game, to give the Jazz the lead back.

Mitchell missed a jumper and sailed above three Rockets players to grab the rebound and finish with an impressive one-handed slam, causing his bench and his teammates to go wild in celebration.

"I thought Dante's dunk was better than mine", Mitchell said.

Joe Ingles led the Jazz with a career-high 27 points, but it was the star rookie who provided the highlight of the night as the Jazz evened the Western Conference semifinals 1-1 with a 116-108 victory.

Utah shot splendidly throughout and finished 15 for 32 from behind the arc while posting a 51.2 percentage from the floor overall. "I know this coach [Quin Snyder], he is always going to make adjustments".

"Yeah, we flipped it", D'Antoni said. Houston shoots the three with the best of them and the Jazz need to find ways to match them.

Added D'Antoni: "They made the shots that we kind of left them open". "They came out with unbelievable energy and they played harder than we did".

For all the work Kia MVP frontrunner James Harden (32 points, 11 assists and six rebounds) and Chris Paul (23 points, five rebounds and three assists) did in Game 2, neither one of them could will their team to the win the way the rookie did the Jazz. They were expected to lose their first-round series to the Oklahoma City Thunder, and won in six games. When the Rockets' second unit labored to build some momentum, Gobert and Favors started converting in the paint as the Jazz repeatedly left the Rockets scrambling defensively to cover the action.

Utah Jazz players talk tactics during a break in the second quarter of game two of their National Basketball Association playoff semifinal series.

The Rockets inbounded the ball from the sideline and went right back to Harden, who forced another switch on Mitchell.

"Ingles' seven from nine from three - they were just too comfortable", said Paul, looking at the score sheet during his media conference. Rudy Gobert made one of two free-throw tries before Exum put it out of reach with a dunk. But give them a lot of credit. "They came in here and got a win".

After trailing by 25 points at halftime of the 110-96 loss in the series opener, the Jazz bolted to an early lead in this one and led by as many as 19 in the first half.

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