Tough road swing starts with sizzling Jazz

Tough road swing starts with sizzling Jazz
January 28, 2013, 9:00 am
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The Rockets will get a stern road test Monday when they go on the road and battle the Jazz.

Utah has won five of their last six and nine of 12 in the calendar year 2013.

That interior domination the Rockets showed against the Nets on Saturday will need to be on display again. In two games this season against the Rockets, Al Jefferson has averaged 12 rebounds. Paul Millsap has averaged 9.5 rebounds in those contests. The Jazz also have Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter waiting in the wings, and they are both very capable.

And it's not just the interior play. The Jazz are also dangerous from the outside. Randy Foye is the fifth-leading three-point shooter in the league at 44 percent. He's been even better against the Rockets this year, averaging four treys and shooting over 60 percent from beyond the arc.

Gordon Hayward is another weapon on the rise in Utah. The third-year man from Butler has continued to make strides in every facet of his game. He's averaged 18 points in his two games against the Rockets this season. However, in the team's last game on Saturday, Hayward suffered a right shoulder sprain late and is considered day-to-day.

Of course, the Rockets are coming off two quality games where they created good spacing on the floor, had good ball movement, and cut down their turnovers. In their 124-116 win over the Jazz on December 1st,  the offense was clicking there too. Four Rockets had at least 18 points. James Harden and Jeremy Lin each had at least seven assists. Shots were set up and shots were hit. The Rockets made half their three's at 11-22 and they made over half their shots overall.

Utah is strong at home with a 15-4 record. They've won six straight in Salt Lake, including wins over both the Heat and the Pacers. Their last home loss came against the Clippers on December 28.

In other words, this will be a good test for the Rockets to see if they can maintain their recent stretch of good basketball.