Harden Too Much For Jazz In Loss To Rockets

Feb 2, 2019, 10:27 PM
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) is fouled by Houston Rockets forward Kenneth Faried (35) under th...
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) is fouled by Houston Rockets forward Kenneth Faried (35) under the basket as the Utah Jazz and the Houston Rockets play an NBA basketball game at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)
(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz couldn’t handle James Harden and the Houston Rockets, falling 125-98.

The Jazz were led by Donovan Mitchell with 26 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists, while shooting 7-for-24 from the field and 10-of-11 from the free throw line.

Rudy Gobert added 10 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks. Derrick Favors had 5 blocks off the bench.

Harden filled up the stat sheet with 43 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 6 steals and 4 blocks. He shot 12-of-22 from the field, including 4-for-12 from downtown and 15-for-15 from the free throw line to lead the Rockets.

Kenneth Faried contributed 16 points and 12 rebounds, Gerald Green dropped 25 points off the bench and Austin Rivers chipped in 16 points.

Jazz Stay Close In First Half

Both teams started the first quarter on their own runs. First, the Rockets jumped out to an 11-6 run but the Jazz countered with an 8-2 run to take a 14-13 lead with 7 minutes left in the first quarter.

Harden had 5 quick points while Faried had 6 points and 5 rebounds. Crowder and Ingles both had 6 points each and two triples.

Royce O’Neale sparked an 11-2 run with seven points to give the Jazz a 25-21 advantage with 3 minutes left in the opening period.

Austin Rivers hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Rockets to a 31-27 lead at the end the first quarter.

Harden finished the opening period with 15 points.

Less than two minutes into the second quarter, the Rockets racked up five quick fouls, putting the Jazz in the bonus for the rest of the period.

With 2:49 left in the quarter, Houston held a 49-44 lead over the Jazz. Harden scored 20 points to that point in the game.

The Rockets outscored the Jazz 32-23 in the second quarter to take a 63-50 lead at halftime. Joe Ingles scored 11 points in the first half. Mitchell and O’Neale both had 8 points. Harden racked up 29 points in the opening 24 minutes of play.

Harden Controls Second Half

Houston started to take control of the game in the third quarter by putting up 28 points and holding Utah to just 19 and had a 91-69 advantage.

Harden was up to 38 points through three quarters. Mitchell led the Jazz with 15 points.

Three minutes into the fourth quarter, Mitchell gave the Jazz some light with 9 points, putting Utah on a 13-6 run. They trailed the Rockets, 97-82.

Dunk Tracker

Rudy Gobert is on track to beat Dwight Howard’s record for the most dunks in a single season with 269 in the 2007-08 season.

Gobert entered Saturday night with a league-best 192 dunks and added did not add any more slams to his total.

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo entered Saturday night in second-place with 177 dunks this season. In the Bucks’ 131-115 win over the Washington Wizards, Antetokounmpo added just three dunks to bring his total to 180. He scored 37 points in the win.

Up Next

The Jazz drop to 30-23 on the season and stay in the seventh spot in the Western Conference standings.

They will face the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. on AT&T SportsNet. The Jazz will welcome former assistant coach Igor Kokoskov, who is now the head coach of the Suns. Phoenix is 11-42 on the season and have lost 9 straight games and 16 of their last 18.

Utah won the season series last year with the Suns 3-1, with the lone loss in Phoenix.

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