Instant Replay: Rockets start slow, drop game to Jazz

Instant Replay: Rockets start slow, drop game to Jazz
December 2, 2013, 10:30 pm
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Rockets fall to Jazz

A very poor first quarter was too much to overcome for the Houston Rockets Monday night as they lost to the Jazz, 109-103. The Jazz came into the game with the league's worst record at 3-15, but they led the game for most of the night.

Houston is now done with their two trips to Utah, having split the two games there. Rookie Trey Burke missed the first two games between these teams, but was fantastic in this one, making 9-of-18 shots and posting a career high 21 points. Gordon Hayward added a season high 29 points and they helped the Jazz hold off the Rockets in the  second half.

Houston never trailed by more than nine points in the second half, but they also never took the lead and only tied the game once, at 86 apiece. The Jazz immediately answered with a 3-pointer from Alec Burks.

The Rockets have been lucky to avoid any catastrophic injury so far this season, but Chandler Parsons became the ninth player to miss a game with illness or injury. His back spasms led to a very stiff back and he was unable to play. His absence coupled with Jeremy Lin's, who is still our with a right knee sprain, left the Rockets with just 10 players dressed.

James Harden posted a season high 37 points and led the Rockets with eight assists, but it wasn't enough to carry the Rockets offense. The team made just 9-of-28 3-pointers (32.1 percent), just the second time in their last eight games, they've shot below 38 percent on 3-pointers.

Streak is over
Houston's five-game winning streak comes to a close in Utah. Houston trailed by 19 in Utah back on Nov. 2, but came back to win that one. The Rockets haven't won six in a row since the first month of the shortened 2011-2012 season, they won seven straight from Jan. 12-23, 2012.

Burke makes a difference
Burke missed the first 12 games of the season for the Jazz. Utah won just one of them. They've now won three of seven games since his return. He posted a career high 20 pts in their win on Saturday. He topped that tonight with 21 points and also had a career high 6 assists

The game was over when
Marvin Williams buried another Jazz 3-pointer, their tenth of the game on 17 tries and it put the Rockets down 108-100 with just under one minute to go.  

Next up
The Rockets (13-6) come home for three straight in Houston, starting with the Phoenix Suns (9-8) on Wednesday night. Houston has split their four games with Phoenix in each of the last two seasons. Prior to that, Houston had won just one of eight games against the Suns. Former Rockets guard Goran Dragic is the Suns second-leading scorer at 18 points per game and leads the Suns in assists at 7.2 per game.