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Rockets’ P.J. Tucker warns ‘our defense has to be better’ after Game 2 loss vs. Jazz

P.J. Tucker, Royce O'Neal

The Houston Rockets saw a reversal of roles in Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinals against the Utah Jazz, as the latter flipped the tables and stole home court with a 116-108 win on Wednesday night at the Toyota Center.

Following the loss, forward P.J. Tucker, one of the team’s many three-and-D architects, said the team must make adjustments at the defensive end, claiming it had done enough on offense to win the game.

“It’s about us. We weren’t great on defense,” said Tucker, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. “They scored (116) points. That’s, wow. We scored enough points. Our defense has to be better. It will be better.”

The Rockets had 12 more shot attempts than the Jazz, shot five more threes and made seven more free throws than their opponents, but Utah held them to a miserable 40 percent from the floor and a ghastly 27 percent from deep — enough to pull away in the fourth quarter and even up the series at 1-1.

Utah shot a blistering 15-of-32 from deep behind an inspired Joe Ingles, who made 7-of-9 from beyond the arc. The trio of James Harden, Chris Paul, and Eric Gordon (the three heaviest shooters in the game) combined to shoot 22-of-57 from the field (38.5 percent).

The Rockets have all the tools to put points in the board, but it’s whether they are effective with it that will make all of the difference in this series, especially heading into two tough road games at Vivint Smart Home Arena.