Rockets beat Jazz for 14th win in 15 games

Annette Crawford
December 8, 2017

The Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz meet Thursday in National Basketball Association action at the Vivint Smart Home Arena.

The Jazz rank second in assists allowed per game (18.4) while the Rockets rank 13th (22.4).

Houston opened as a 5.5-point favorite, while the game's Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 208 points. Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 26 points, four rebounds, four assists and a steal.

Mitchell has hit 61 3-pointers through his first 25 games - the most ever in National Basketball Association history by a rookie through his first 25 contests - and has shot 40 percent or better from long distance in six straight games.

Utah will be reeling from their defeat against OKC, in which they led from the outset and looked like comfortable victors until a fourth quarter scoring slump cost them the game. Each time, Houston surged back ahead with a flurry of baskets. He bookended an ensuing 7-0 spurt with a put-back layup, giving Houston a 22-16 lead.

Utah ripped off an 11-2 run midway through the second quarter.

The Rockets won their seventh game in a row on Sunday, easily defeating the Lakers 118-95. Once again, Houston had an answer instead of a problem. The Houston Rockets are shooting 36.5 percent from beyond the arc and 80.5 percent from the free throw line.

Beating the Rockets away from Houston these days is as challenging as slowing down their explosive offense.

The turning point: The Rockets scored 18 of the first 23 points of the second half to go up 69-51 with 8:20 to play in the quarter.

Prior to Chris Paul's return to the lineup last month, Ryan Anderson was struggling shooting the basketball for the Houston Rockets at home. Joe Ingles has shot well, Derrick Favors performed admirably in place of the injured Gobert, while Alec Burks and Rodney Hood have both provided sparks off the bench in various games. Harden now is the league leader in scoring (31.7 points per game), and he ranks second in assists (9.7 per game) among qualifiers behind Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook. Jazz C Rudy Gobert is averaging 5.0 points and 8.3 rebounds in 25.3 minutes per game since returning from a knee contusion. Their much-maligned offense had been travelling along nicely, having scored over 100 points in nine consecutive games before the Thunder loss.

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