Some nights in the NBA, there are just games that are hard to lose. For the Jazz tonight, despite being down two starters and on a the second game of a back-to-back, it was one of those games. The Rockets came into town with the NBA’s worst record of 16-50 and also on the second game of a back-to-back. They sported a starting lineup to KJ Martin JR, DaQuan Jeffires, Jae’sean Tate, DJ Augustin, and Anthony Lamb. Absolutely no disrespect to those guys, but that is lowkey a lineup of guys that majority of NBA fans have never heard of. Props to them though, came out and played hard and made tonight more of a game than many expected, even covering the spread! The Jazz hopped out to an early 15-5 lead out of the gates, which triggered a Rockets timeout. At this point of the game it was looking like it was going to be an onslaught, but the Rockets came back and hung tough for the majority of the game.
Unfortunately for the Rockets, Georges Niang was playing tonight, and absolutely took over. Niang tied his career-high with 24 points on 9-12 shooting and 6-8 from three. I said this in the recap last night after that thriller against the Nuggets, Georges Niang deserves so much credit this season. He’s played so well, especially lately, and his confidence is at an all-time high. This is amazing for the Jazz to get this in right before the playoffs, as it’s great to have guys that can come in and just hit shots when you need them in tough playoff games. Niang has been absolutely hoopin’ lately, and you love to see it.
Bogdanovic and Clarkson both had themselves some great games, 41 combined points. Clarkson kept his three-point shooting streak alive, which we are all heavily invested in. With tonight’s win, the Jazz snag their 50th win of the season, and build their lead on the 1 seed to a game and a half over the Suns.