The Rockets turned an offensive clinic into a recuperative
performance, torching the spiraling Utah Jazz 124-86 Monday night at
Houston forward Terrence Jones scored 13 of his 30 points in the
third quarter as the Rockets (45-22) extended their home winning
streak to a season-high nine games.
Utah (22-46) lost for the 10th time in 11 games.
The Rockets' point guard tandem of Patrick Beverley (19) and Jeremy
Lin (17) combined for 36 points on just 19 shots. Houston center
Omer Asik recorded his first double-double since April 14, 2013,
pairing 12 points with 11 rebounds in the place of injured All-Star
"Obviously everyone knows what Omer can do. He did it for so many
games last year," Rockets guard James Harden said. "He just doesn't
get that opportunity with Dwight (starting), but whenever he has the
opportunity, he's so professional as far as when Dwight is out. It's
Omer's time to step up, and he still gets a double-double. It's
great to have that combination of bigs."
Jones nearly scored his 13 third-quarter points in succession, his
run of effectiveness snapped only by an Asik dunk off a
pick-and-roll at the 8:29 mark that pushed Houston to a 71-49 lead.
By the time Jones converted through forward Richard Jefferson's foul
with 6:49 left in the third, he had outscored Utah 15-10 in the
period, and Houston led 75-51.
The Rockets followed a five-game winning streak with losses at
Oklahoma City, Chicago and Miami. Against Utah, Houston shot a
season-best 58.2 percent (46-for-79), including 13-for-25 from
behind the 3-point arc. Houston recorded 31 assists, three off its
"We had a dry spell there for three games," Rockets coach Kevin
McHale said. "They came home tonight and took care of business.
"We're getting down now to 15 games, and this is really your
preparation for the playoffs. Every time we come in and everything
we do, we've got to be really sharp."
Guard Alec Burks and center/forward Derrick Favors scored 15 points
apiece to lead the Jazz. Swingman Gordon Hayward chipped in 11
points, while rookie point guard Trey Burke added 10 but on 4-for-13
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Utah allowed 30 fast-break points to fuel the Rockets' attack. The
Jazz were outrebounded 46-34 and outscored in the paint 58-34.
"I don't know if it was a lack of effort or more of a lack of
execution," Hayward said. "We didn't take anything away from them.
They got anything they wanted. They got dunks, kick-out 3s, pull-ups
in midrange. They scored (124) points. That's about it."
Burke scored the opening basket of the game, but the Rockets claimed
the lead for good when Jones drilled the first of his three
3-pointers 58 seconds later. The Rockets won every period en route
to establishing a season high for margin of victory. The Jazz set
their season mark for largest margin of defeat, eclipsing a 33-point
setback at Atlanta on Dec. 20.
"It was a tough loss for us," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "We
didn't play our best basketball, and it's frustrating to be losing.
We don't want to fall in love with losing. We have to fight with
everything we have."
NOTES: Houston C Dwight Howard missed his first game of the season
due to a mild left ankle strain. Howard averaged 18.6 points and
12.4 rebounds while participating in all 66 games prior to Monday
night. C Omer Asik earned his first starting assignment since Nov.
11. ... Utah F Marvin Williams started in place of F/C Enes Kanter
to provide the Jazz a better matchup against Rockets F Terrence
Jones. Williams started in each of his previous 46 games before
playing 26 minutes off the bench Sunday in a loss at San Antonio.
... While his points, rebounds and assists remain largely unchanged,
Jazz rookie G Trey Burke improved him shooting since the All-Star
break, posting a line of .424/.350/.938 over his past 15 games. He
took a step back Monday with a poor shooting performance from the
floor, though he made his only free throw.
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