Jazz’s Vanderbilt Hits Markkanen With Behind-The-Back Pass Against Rockets
The Rockets hosted the Jazz at Toyota Center on Thursday, January 5.
With 6:36 to go in the opening quarter, Vanderbilt fed the ball to Markkanen with a crafty behind-the-back pass. The Finnish forward, who currently ranks among the top frontcourt players in the NBA All-Star Game vote, capped the assist with a flush at the rim.
The Vanderbilt-Markkanen connection gave the Jazz a 14-11 lead.
Vando getting 𝕗𝕒𝕟𝕔𝕪 🌀 pic.twitter.com/DqOpt0qdtl
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 6, 2023
At the end of the first quarter, the Jazz led the Rockets, 31-23.
During his first seven minutes on the hardwood, Vanderbilt had two points on 1-1 field goals, one rebound, two assists, and a steal. Markkanen led the Jazz with 18 points on 7-11 shooting in 12 minutes of action.
This season, Vanderbilt is averaging 8.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. Markkanen averages 23.9 points per contest on 52.9 percent shooting.
Jazz vs. Rockets
Jazz Hurt By Close Losses
Though the Jazz have lost five consecutive games, they’ve been outscored by a total of just 15 points during the stretch.
On Tuesday the Jazz were robbed of a win over the Sacramento Kings by a tenth of a second as Lauri Markkanen’s would-be game-winning three-pointer was waived off as the ball was still on his fingertips as time expired.
On New Year’s Eve, Miami Heat forward Tyler Herro hit a running three to sink the Jazz 126-123 at the buzzer.
Before the two losses at home, the Jazz fell by one in Sacramento as Markkanen missed a potential game-winner, lost by three at Golden State as they surrendered a double-digit second half lead, and lost by four at San Antonio despite a furious rally late in the game.
The Jazz will be without guard Collin Sexton for the second-consecutive game as he continues injury maintenance on his right hamstring.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) January 6, 2023
Rockets Own Worst Record In West
Like the Jazz, the Rockets are riding their own five-game losing streak, and have lost 10 of 11 overall.
Houston last won a game on December 26 over the Chicago Bulls but have struggled badly since.
Unlike the Jazz, Houston has been blown out in four of their last five games including a 119-108 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.
The Rockets trailed by 25 entering the fourth quarter before outscoring New Orleans 35-21 with the game already out of hand.
With a loss, the Rockets could pull even with the idle Charlotte Hornets for the worst record in the NBA at 10-29.
Houston did hand the Jazz their first loss of the season, 114-108, on October 24.
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