The Utah Jazz fell to the Houston Rockets 103-94. It was the second night of a back to back, and yet another game without three of the top six players -- but the great news is that starting center Rudy Gobert returned from injury to play 15 minutes (5 in the first half, 10 in the second half as ordered), and looked really devastating when he was in there. Utah had the lead after one and at halftime, but were lost the third quarter 33-22, and it's really hard to go into the fourth behind and missing most of your best players. Rodney Hood got injured and had to leave the game in the third, and that put the Jazz at a quality disadvantage for sure. Chris Johnson did step up in extended minutes and scored 11 points (most of them in the second half), but no one could stop James Harden who finished with 33 points. Bench bros Trevor Booker (12 and 9), and Trey Burke (10, 3, and 2) had solid games as well, but in the end it comes to who can start and finish for your club.
It's a shame to call this game a loss -- which it is. Trey Lyles looked great and missed having a double double. Raul Neto dished out 7 assists. Jeff Withey continues to finish plays in the paint and block shots on the other side of the court. Little pieces are all coming together for this team. The game might have been a little closer if Gordon Hayward didn't shoot 1/7 from deep, but at times the offense really ground to a halt and forced him to do more than was humanly possible.
Trey Lyles showing signs... https://t.co/SSypma0nU7— Andy Bailey (@AndrewDBailey) January 8, 2016
I think if both teams were at full strength we'll see a Jazz win. Our guys can hang with Houston. They've shown that so far this season with so many key pieces missing.
Utah has the night off, then host the Miami Heat on Saturday! Woo!