Nuggets No. 2 in West after tight win over Wolves

The Nuggets were limping into the playoffs … until they weren’t

Mitchell had no choice but to toss up a prayer after receiving a pass so far from the basket just before the expiration of the shot clock, which was pelted with the errant shot.

Pick up the pace - As Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni noted Saturday, they need to push the pace against Utah and avoid running the shot clock down repeatedly. That was a theme throughout the night.

Gobert had a super efficient (8-of-10 shooting) double-double of 22 points and 12 rebounds, but the same can't be said for Mitchell, who put up 19 on 7-of-18 shooting from the field (38.9 percent) while recording zero assists. "The ball stopped and got stuck on one side of the floor". We just couldn't score. The Rockets only make it harder on themselves if they allow the Jazz to get out to an early lead or a strong shooting start. I'll eat the chalk again with the Rockets.

Houston, one of the NBA's worst defensive teams during the first half of the season, has excelled on that end since the All-Star break. Clint Capela is adding 16.6 points and 12.7 rebounds per contest. And we're going to continue to try to do what we've done at a very high level over the regular season. We have to be aggressive. Rubio, who finished with 15 points, didn't play against Houston in the playoffs last season after injuring his hamstring in a first-round series win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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With that said, there's certainly a lot up in the air about whether Utah can truly hold their own against Houston or not.

"That's something that we always emphasize", said forward PJ Tucker, the Rockets' best defender. We're being physical on box-offs, on all the switches, and we're being aggressive and getting up into people, making them drive.

White similarly starred with a crucial steal on Jamal Muray mid-court with 1.3 seconds left before icing the game for the Spurs with two free throws. They were the only Western Conference team to rank in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency. "Seeing his progress from the beginning - when Dejounte went down - you see it every single day, every single week, every single month, and to be here in the big moments and see how he steps up, he came up big". He's just so good I don't know what you do. you're not stopping him. "If you get five turnovers, you have to look at yourself in the mirror and figure out how to adjust".

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