The Utah Jazz's Joe Ingles drives around the defence of the Houston Rockets' James Harden in the first half of game three of their NBA semi-final series. Picture: Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images
The Utah Jazz's Joe Ingles drives around the defence of the Houston Rockets' James Harden in the first half of game three of their NBA semi-final series. Picture: Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images Gene Sweeney Jr.

Utah Jazz implodes as Ingles puts in a poor one

AUSTRALIA'S Joe Ingles started hot, but quickly chilled as the Utah Jazz imploded in a 113-92 loss to the Houston Rockets in game three of their NBA Western Conference semi-final series.

The win in Salt Lake City on Saturday (AEST) gave the top-seeded Rockets a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Ingles sank the first basket of the game, a three-pointer from well beyond the arc, but he missed his next six shots. His teammates were also off target and the Jazz trailed 70-40 at half-time.

The Rockets led by as many as 38 points during the rout in front of a stunned Utah crowd.

Ingles finished with six points, missing eight of 10 field goal attempts, and suffered five turnovers.

It was a far cry from his career-high 27 points in the Jazz's emphatic game two win in Houston earlier this week.

The Jazz's other Australian, Dante Exum, was also not as effective in guarding Houston's leader, James Harden, who controlled the game with 25 points and 12 assists.

Exum finished with six points from 14 minutes on the court.

A day after the Philadelphia 76ers' Australian rookie Ben Simmons had the worst game of his career, scoring just one point in a loss to the Boston Celtics, his rival for the NBA's rookie of the year award, the Jazz's Donovan Mitchell, also floundered with 10 points and three turnovers turnovers.

Mitchell missed 12 of his 16 shots.

Game four start at 10am on Monday (AEST) in Salt Lake City.

In the other Western Conference semi-final series, the New Orleans Pelicans thumped the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors 119-100 in game three.

The Pelicans, however, trail 1-2 against the Warriors in the series.

Pelicans centre Anthony Davis dominated the game in New Orleans with 33 points, 18 rebounds and four steals and was well backed up by Jrue Holiday's 21 points and veteran point guard Rajon Rondo's 21 assists.

The usually accurate Warriors were off. Klay Thompson scored 26 points, but missed 13 of 22 shots, and Stephen Curry missed 13 of 19 shots, finishing with 19 points.

Golden State shot a poor 38 per cent from distance while the Pelicans buried 14 of 31, or 45 per cent, of their three-pointers.

Game four starts at 5.30am on Monday (AEST) in New Orleans.

- AAP


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