Preview: Rockets at Jazz
The Utah Jazz established a season high for points in their last outing and look to keep the offense churning when they host the Houston Rockets on Thursday. Utah has won four of its last six games and knocked down a franchise-record 20 3-pointers in Tuesday’s 139-105 trouncing of the visiting San Antonio Spurs.
The Jazz set their 3-point mark in just 33 attempts and 10 different players connected on at least one from behind the arc during the impressive victory. “When you make a lot of 3s, it definitely helps for sure,” Utah star guard Donovan Mitchell told reporters after making four 3-pointers. “But just continuing to drive the ball, finding guys on the perimeter, finding the big fella (Rudy Gobert) for the lob, whatever it may be, just making the right play was huge for us.” The Rockets were at the other end of the spectrum in Monday’s 103-91 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves as they scored just 29 second-half points, including nine in the fourth quarter. “For whatever reason, the second half we played without any kind of spirit or energy,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni told reporters. “Things were going great in the first half, and then at the end of the first half we let them come back.”
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT, AT&T Sportsnet Southwest (Houston)
ABOUT THE ROCKETS (11-12): Houston had topped 100 points in 11 straight games prior to the flat second half that occurred in the opener of a three-game road swing. “In the second half, we just laid an egg,” Rockets guard Eric Gordon told reporters. “They had everything going. You could tell by their confidence. They just played better defensively.” Star guard James Harden scored 29 points for his 13th consecutive 20-point outing and 18th of the campaign while center Clint Capela scored 24 to top 20 for the sixth time in the past 11 games.
ABOUT THE JAZZ (12-13): Swingman Kyle Korver played his first home game of his second stint with the club and performed in style by making 3-of-4 from 3-point range and scoring 15 points in 15 minutes against the Spurs. Korver was acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers for guard Alec Burks and two second-round draft picks and he expressed excitement for being back in the arena he played in from 2007-10. “It was a great first night back,” Korver told reporters after the contest. “I have a lot of good memories of this place. We played really good basketball. The ball was moving. We were playing for each other.”
1. Mitchell scored 38 points as the Jazz posted a 100-89 road victory on Oct. 24 to snap a four-game losing streak against the Rockets in the regular season.
2. Houston PG Chris Paul scored a season-low five points on 1-of-8 shooting versus the Timberwolves.
3. Utah PG Ricky Rubio is averaging 16 points on 19-of-34 shooting over the past three games.