The Utah Jazz started out the game with a three from Rodney Hood and then a quick layup from Dante Exum, after that, Houston ran the show. James Harden had 15 of his 31 points in the first quarter and didn’t play much of the 4th quarter as the Houston Rockets beat the Utah Jazz 111-102.
Trey Lyles, starting in place of the injured Derrick Favors, had a big game with 21 points and 5 rebounds. The Utah Jazz fought back within 5 points numerous times in the 2nd half, but only to have turnovers end the run before it could have enough oxygen to live. When James Harden was on the bench, Eric Gordon was cooking. Eric Gordon had 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists.
Rodney Hood had a good game, but much of his points came in the 4th quarter with the Utah Jazz down 10-15 points. Rodney Hood was 5-8 from 3 finishing with 25 points.
James Harden put on a show in the first quarter whether it was getting to the line, hitting from 3, or forcing Quin Snyder to continually be subbing Shelvin Mack out for Dante Exum or vice versa. James Harden looks like an MVP candidate and played every bit the part.
Gordon Hayward continues to struggle since what might have been a re-aggravation of his finger injury against Memphis. Hayward finished with only 9 points and spent much of the game shaking his left hand in what looked to be obvious pain. Hayward also finished with 7 rebounds and 5 assists. One has to question whether he’d be playing through this injury if the Utah Jazz themselves didn’t have 3 players suffering injuries.
This loss brings Utah back to .500 at 7-7. The Utah Jazz have now lost 3 straight games since their 4-1 road trip out East. The Utah Jazz’s next game is tomorrow at Denver.