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(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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Rubio, Crowder Combine For 25 Points In First Quarter

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – With their team playing with backs against the wall, the Utah Jazz’s Ricky Rubio and Jae Crowder combined for a big first quarter in Game 4 against the Houston Rockets.

Thanks to a combined 25 points by the duo, the Jazz led after the first period, 32-24.

Crowder was especially hot as he scored all nine of the Jazz’s points to start the possible elimination game. He ended up with 14 points on 5-for-5 shooting with two 3-pointers made in the opening period, just two points from tying his career high of 16 points in a first quarter.

It’s Crowder’s second straight game in the starting lineup for Utah, replacing usual starter Derrick Favors in an effort to ignite the Jazz’s offense, which has struggled so far this series.

Rubio was terrific as well, scoring 11 points on 4-for-6 shooting with a made triple. He also dished out two assists and had a block on Houston center Clint Capela.

Rubio is playing in the final year of his contract with the Jazz and by the looks of his strong play to start the game, doesn’t want to enter an uncertain offseason with a first round sweep.

After losing the first three games of the series to Houston, the Jazz face possible elimination in Game 4 on Monday.

The game between Utah and Houston is being broadcast on TNT.