Jazz Return From Break Against Decimated Rockets

Mar 12, 2021, 12:03 PM | Updated: 1:41 pm
Donovan Mitchell and Derrick Favors of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)...
Donovan Mitchell and Derrick Favors of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz begin the second half of the regular season Friday night when they face a decimated Houston Rockets team.

The Jazz own the best record in the NBA at 27-9 but lost three of their final four games heading into the All-Star break. As a result, the Jazz sit just two games ahead of the Phoenix Suns for the top seed in the Western Conference.

The Rockets meanwhile have lost 14 consecutive games and enter their matchup with the Jazz on the second night of back-to-back games with only eight healthy bodies.

Jazz Look To Regain Momentum

The Jazz saw their momentum screech to a halt during their four-game road trip to close the first half of the regular season.

The team lost close games to the Miami Heat, New Orleans Pelicans, and Philadelphia 76ers heading into the break lessening their lead over the Western Conference.

The Jazz loss in Philadelphia was particularly difficult, falling in overtime to the East-leading 76ers with guard Donovan Mitchell earning his first career ejection for arguing with officials.

After the game, Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, and Mike Conley all expressed their frustrations with what they viewed as unequal officiating towards their roster. Both Mitchell and Gobert were later fined.

Upon retaking the floor Jazz fans will see three new additions to the team. First, the Jazz will wear their ree “Earned” uniforms for the first time this season. Second, Vivint Arena will allow 5,600 fans at Vivint Arena against the rockets, the fullest it has been this season. And third, forward Ersan Ilyasova is expected to be in uniform after signing with the team on Wednesday.

Rockets Face Uphill Battle

The Rockets were already scuffling heading into the All-Star break having lost 13 consecutive games.

Then, before Houston’s game against the Sacramento Kings on Thursday guard John Wall suffered a knee injury in practice that ruled him out against the Jazz. During the Rockets 125-105 loss to the Kings, guard Eric Gordon suffered a lower-body injury that will prevent him from playing in Utah.

On Friday, the team announced Victor Oladipo would miss the game as he rests his rehabbing knee on the second night of back-to-back games.

During their matchup with Sacramento, it was announced Houston forward PJ Tucker wouldn’t return to the team as he hopes to be traded to a Finals contender.

As a result, the Rockets will face the Jazz with the league’s minimum requirement of eight players assuming all players are cleared to play after their gameday COVID-19 screenings return.

With Wall, Oladipo, Gordon, and Christian Wood expected to miss Friday’s game, the Rockets will be without their four leading scorers when they face the Jazz.

Key Matchup

The key matchup between the Jazz and Rockets will pit Mitchell against the Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr.

Porter Jr. made his Rockets debut against the Kings and scored 13 points, handed out 10 assists, and grabbed three rebounds in the loss. The guard had been in Orlando competing with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers during the shortened G League season prior to the All-Star break.

Mitchell meanwhile is averaging 24.7 points per game while shooting 42 percent from the floor and 38 percent from the three-point line.


The Jazz and Rockets tip-off at 8 pm MT and will be broadcast on AT&T SportsNet.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Utah Jazz

Ben Anderson

Jazz Own Three 1st Round Picks In 2023, Is Draft Any Good?

The Utah Jazz rebuild will truly begin in the 2023 NBA Draft, but how good will their three picks be, and how deep is the class?
1 day ago
Trent Forrest - Utah Jazz vs. San Antonio Spurs...
Brian Preece

Former Jazz Guard Trent Forrest Signs Two-Way Deal With Hawks

Entering his third season in the NBA, former Utah Jazz backup point guard Trent Forrest has signed with the Atlanta Hawks.
1 day ago
Brian Preece

Report: Jazz Sign Forward Paris Bass To One-Year Contract

The Utah Jazz made news on Sunday when it was reported that they have signed small forward Paris Bass to a one-year contract.
1 day ago
Ben Anderson

Report: Jazz, Lakers, Knicks Talked Mitchell, Westbrook Trade

The Jazz reportedly discussed a three-team trade involving the Knicks and Lakers designed around Donovan Mitchell and Russell Westbrook. 
4 days ago
Ben Anderson

Jazz Alex Jensen To Coach USA Basketball AmeriCup Team

Utah Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen has been named the head coach of the 2022 USA Basketball AmeriCup team. 
5 days ago
Ben Anderson

Arenas: Wade Still Better Than Jazz Players From Gobert Trade

Former NBA star Gilbert Arenas said that Dwyane Wade is still better today than the five players the Jazz received in the Rudy Gobert trade.
5 days ago
Jazz Return From Break Against Decimated Rockets