Jazz Wrap Road Trip Against Struggling Houston Rockets
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz will face the struggling Houston Rockets in the final stop of a three-game road trip.
The Jazz opened the trip by splitting a two-game series with Los Angeles Lakers, falling on Saturday with a shorthanded roster while coasting to an easy victory Monday night with Rudy Gobert and Mike Conley back in the rotation.
The Rockets meanwhile are a stunning 4-33 in their last 37 games but last won Sunday on the road in Orlando.
Jazz Look To Close Road Trip With Winning Record
The Jazz hope to end their three-game road trip with a winning record by beating Houston on Wednesday. Though the Jazz own the NBA’s best record at 43-15, they’re just 17-12 on the road, on par with most teams in the Western Conference playoff picture.
After starting the season 11-3 away from home, the Jazz are just 6-9 over their last 15 games, snapping a three-game road losing streak with Monday’s victory.
Gobert returned for the Jazz and turned in a dominating performance against Los Angeles. The All-NBA center scored 14 points on 5-7 shooting, grabbed 10 rebounds, and blocked two shots as the Jazz outscored the Lakers in his 28 minutes on the floor.
Why the matchup with Rudy Gobert benefits the Jazz.
— Ben Anderson (@BensHoops) April 20, 2021
Conley added 14 points and 10 assists including 3-6 shooting from downtown en route to the lopsided 111-97 victory.
Donovan Mitchell will not play Wednesday after suffering a lower ankle sprain last Friday against the Indiana Pacers. Mitchell is expected to be reevaluated this weekend and has not traveled with the team during the road trip.
Ersan Ilysaova remains questionable after missing Monday’s game with left hamstring tightness.
Rockets Competing For Worst Record In West
After trading James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets in mid-January, the Rockets have been one of the worst teams in the NBA.
Houston is just 11-36 since the trade, and have won only four games since February 6, including a losing streak that reached 20 games.
The @WashWizards win their 5th in a row!
➡️ Teams ranked 7-10 will participate in the NBA Play-In Tournament after the regular season (May 18-21) to secure the final two spots in the Playoffs for each conference. pic.twitter.com/7YWVlawUQh
— NBA (@NBA) April 20, 2021
The Jazz beat the Rockets on March 12 in Salt Lake City, though the depleted Houston roster gave Utah a scare. The Rockets trimmed a 21 point second half lead to just four points in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t overcome the Jazz, ultimately losing 114-99.
Houston is tied with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the worst record in the NBA at 15-43. Sitting 3.5 games back of the Orlando Magic for the fourth-worst record in the league, both Minnesota and Houston would have equal odds of landing a top-three pick in July’s NBA draft at 40 percent.
Wednesday’s key matchup will pit Jazz forward Royce O’Neale against Most Improved Player candidate Christian Wood.
O’Neale broke out of a recent funk on Monday connecting on 5-5 shooting including 3-3 from deep to score 13 points. The forward has now scored in double-digits in back-to-back outings after doing so only once in the previous 15 games.
Wood with 18pts pic.twitter.com/iQIAEqD20f
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) April 20, 2021
Wood leads the Rockets in scoring at 21.0 points per game while also grabbing an impressive 9.3 rebounds. The forward connects on 38 percent of his 4.8 threes per game but did not play against the Jazz in their last meeting.
The Jazz and Rockets tip-off at 6 pm MT. The game will be broadcast on AT&T SportsNet.
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