Jazz Disappointing In Loss To Rockets; Eric Gordon Drops 50 Points
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz had every advantage to handle the Houston Rockets tonight but Eric Gordon and too many free throws lifted the Rockets to a 126-117 win at Vivint Smart Home Arena, handing the Jazz just their fourth loss at home this season.
Gordon scored a career-high 50 points, along with 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals, while shooting 14-22 from the field, 6-11 from the three point line and 16-20 from the free throw line. His previous career-high was 41 points entering the game.
The Rockets were without three of their key starters, including James Harden with a thigh injury, Clint Capela with a heel injury and Russell Westbrook due to rest.
Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 36 points on 14-25 from the floor.
The Jazz organization held a moment of silence for Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash at the age of 41, along with 8 other passengers, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
When the Jazz won the tip-off, they paid tribute to Bryant by taking a 24-second shot clock violation. The Rockets also paid tribute with an 8-second backcourt violation, in honor of Bryant’s two numbers 8 and 24.
The Jazz and Rockets pay tribute to Kobe with a respective 24 second and 8 second violation to begin the game. pic.twitter.com/G1a4GGkYij
— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 28, 2020
Too Many Fouls
The Rockets attempted more free throws than any team in the NBA this season. They went 35-49 from the charity stripe. Gordon, Danuel House and Austin Rivers combined for 28-37 at the foul line.
The Jazz struggled staying out of foul trouble. All five starters had at least two fouls, Joe Ingles fouled out, while Mitchell and Royce O’Neale each had five fouls. Tony Bradley and Mike Conley had five fouls each off the bench.
Utah attempted 26 free throws and made 19. Rudy Gobert had the most free throw attempts with 10.
Worst performance of the season by FAR. Worse than that ugly loss at home to OKC. So many unforced turnovers, missed layups and poor effort on the boards. This was a head scratcher.
— Jeremiah Jensen (@JJSportsBeat) January 28, 2020
Bogdanovic Hot From Deep
Bojan Bogdanovic was a threat from beyond the arc, making seven of his 13 attempts, finishing with 30 points. He hit some big threes in the second half as the Jazz made attempts to come back.
As a team, the Jazz went 12-42 from the three point line. The other five threes came from Mitchell (3), Ingles (1) and Georges Niang (1).
The Rockets only made three more triples than the Jazz but attempted two less than Utah, knocking down 15-40. Gordon made six, along with two from House, Rivers and McLemore.
big 👏 bucket 👏 bogey 👏 pic.twitter.com/8xW1ec3YBT
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 28, 2020
Other than Mitchell and Bogdanovic, two other Jazz players reached double figures in scoring with 12 points coming from Gobert, adding another double-double with 14 rebounds and 2 blocks. Mike Conley added 10 points off the bench.
The Jazz dropped their record to 32-14 on the season and are now 19-3 in their last 22 games. They will begin a three-game road trip on Wednesday night against the San Antonio Spurs. The game will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on AT&T SportsNet.
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