UTAH JAZZ

Jazz Forward Lauri Markkanen Slams Pair Of Dunks To Start Half Against Rockets

Jan 5, 2023, 7:35 PM
Lauri-Markkanen-Utah-Jazz-Houston-Rockets-NBA...
Lauri Markkanen #23 of the Utah Jazz reacts to a basket against the Houston Rockets during the first half at Toyota Center on January 05, 2023 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITYJazz forward Lauri Markkanen continued his big game against the Houston Rockets with a pair of slam dunks during the opening minutes of the second half.

The Rockets hosted the Jazz at Toyota Center on Thursday, January 5.

53 seconds into the third quarter, Jarred Vanderbilt dished the ball off to Markkane, who slammed the ball through the cylinder for his first points of the second half.

A few minutes later, Mike Conley fed the ball to the Finnish forward for another driving jam. Markkanen slammed the ball while getting fouled. He went to the charity stripe for a free throw.

Markkanen’s three-point play gave the Jazz a 73-67 lead.

Midway through the quarter, the Arizona product had a game-high 30 points on 9-17 field goals, including 4-10 from distance. He added four rebounds and an assist during his first 24 minutes on the floor.

This season, Markkanen is averaging 23.9 points per contest on 52.9 percent shooting.

RELATED: Lauri Markkanen Sets Single Quarter Career-High Against Houston

Utah’s game against Houston is broadcast on AT&T SportsNet, NBA League Pass, and KSL Sports Zone.

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.

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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Jazz Forward Lauri Markkanen Slams Pair Of Dunks To Start Half Against Rockets