The Utah Jazz got their shot at revenge in a rematch with the Houston Rockets after suffering their first loss of the season on Monday. The team got back into the win column and improved their record to 4-1. At the start of the season Houston and Utah were expected to be jostling for position at or near the bottom of the Western conference standings but that hasn’t worked out so well for the Jazz so far. Either way, it has been refreshing and fun to watch this young team exceed expectations.
Houston kept the game close for a good part of the first half but couldn’t stop the Jazz from scoring 39 points in the second quarter en route to a 12 point halftime deficit. It looked like the Jazz were going to run away with it at times during the 3rd quarter, however, Houston made it a game in the 4th. The young Rockets team made an impressive run to get within three points late in the 4th but ultimately couldn’t complete the comeback. The Rockets had good balance with 4 out of 5 starters reaching double figures and Kevin Porter leading the way with 24 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
The Jazz played with a lot more energy tonight then they did in their previous game. Part of that energy might have come from getting a day of rest but part of it might have also come from an energetic home crowd as the Jazz debuted their new statement black jersey’s with the new black and yellow home court. It doesn’t mean the Jazz are going to win every game at home but I like to think that having some new threads can get the team pumped up a little bit. We know Jordan Clarkson likes the new team colors and he really let everyone know tonight by draining 5 threes and dishing out 5 assists and being his usual “spark plug” self. Lauri Markannen continued his impressive play by adding a game high 24 points and 9 rebounds
The Rockets travel to Oregon to face the undefeated Portland Trail Blazers on Friday and the Jazz will travel to Denver for the 2nd match in as many weeks against the Nuggets. Let’s hope the winning ways continue, GO JAZZ!