Botebook: Jazz 102, Rockets 91



Posted Nov 20, 2012 12:43 AM

By Andrew Aragon, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Utah Jazz are only a .500 team overall, but they have some serious home-court magic going on this season.

The play of Al Jefferson and a well-balanced effort helped the Jazz continue their home-court dominance as they defeated the Houston Rockets 102-91 in a game that wasn't as close as the final score indicated on Monday night. Utah improved its home record to 4-0 this season and earned its 10th straight regular season home victory dating back to last season.

Jefferson had 14 points and 16 rebounds and five different Utah players scored in double figures. Gordon Hayward came off the bench to score 15 points. Randy Foye had 14 points and made four 3-pointers, while Jamaal Tinsley dished 11 assists for the Jazz (6-6).

Patrick Patterson led Houston (4-7) with 19 points and Chandler Parsons had 11 points and 10 rebounds.

QUOTABLE: "We fell behind 7-0? I didn't really think about it. I knew we were going to get it together. We shot some good shots, they just didn't fall for us. We are in 'The Solutions' [EnergySolutions Arena]. We don't panic when we are in the 'The Solutions.'"

--Jazz center Jefferson

THE STAT: Utah played unselfishly on offense, and it showed with 30 assists on 37 made baskets. The Jazz had great ball movement, and in several instances passed up decent looks for better ones.

TURNING POINT: After a sluggish first quarter, the Jazz blew the game open in the second period. They opened the second quarter on a 13-0 run, which was highlighted by a sweet 25-foot alley-oop from DeMarre Carroll to Enes Kanter that put Utah ahead 40-26. Carroll made two layups during Utah's spurt, and the Jazz shot 60 percent in the second period. Houston missed its first nine shots of the second quarter and didn't score until James Harden made two free throws with 7:03 left in the period. Utah got 13 straight stops before Patterson hit a jumper.

HOT: Carroll made the most of his playing time against the Rockets and lifted the Jazz with his energy. He had eight points, three assists and two rebounds in 13 minutes. Patterson was one of few bright spots for Houston. He made five of his first six shots and scored a season-high in points despite sitting out the fourth quarter.

NOT: Harden was not himself in Tuesday's game. He laid on the trainer's table before the game looking quite ill with a upper respiratory infection and Utah's high altitude didn't help matters. He was mostly a decoy in the first half, and didn't make a basket until there was 1:37 left in the second quarter. He shot 1-for-6, scored six points and did not play in the second half.

QUOTABLE II: "It's hard to play, especially on the road, when you get down that big [Utah's largest lead was 23 points]. And it was just all about our effort in the first half. Again, they were getting so many easy buckets in transition and we didn't come out there with the fire and passion we needed to. And, granted, we're tired -- it's the last game of the road trip -- but there are no excuses."

--Rockets forward Parsons

GOOD MOVE: Hayward and Marvin Williams haven't sulked since being removed from the starting lineup in Utah's last two games. Hayward led Utah in scoring while Williams entered the game after just a minute and had 12 points and four rebounds. Both players gave Utah a big spark off the bench.

BAD MOVE: Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin went big with his starting lineup for the second straight game with a large front line of Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors along with guards Mo Williams and Foye. And, for the second straight game, the starting unit got Utah off to a slow start. Favors committed two fouls in the first minute of the game and went to the bench. Utah missed its first six shots and fell behind 7-0. The same lineup combo struggled in the third quarter and the Jazz shot just 25 percent in the period.

NOTABLE: The Jazz scored a season-high 61 points in the first half. Harden had five straight 20-point outings, a career-high, going into Monday's game. The Rockets went 0-3 on their road trip and have lost four straight road games.

UP NEXT: For the Rockets, Wednesday vs. Bulls, Friday vs. Knicks, Nov. 27 vs. Raptors. For the Jazz, Friday vs. Kings, Saturday @ Sacramento, Monday vs. Nuggets.