Shorthanded Jazz No-Show In Loss To Rockets

Mar 23, 2024, 9:38 PM | Updated: Mar 25, 2024, 1:37 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz turned in one of their worst performances of the season in their 147-119 loss to the Houston Rockets.

The Rockets shot 27-49 from three, marking a new season high for three-pointers made by a team in any game this season.

Jalen Green led all scorers with 41 points. Playing without Lauri Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson, the Jazz were led by John Collins who scored 25 points.

Related: Recapping Jazz Loss To The Rockets

Hard To Find Value In These Losses

While every minute on the court offers some value to young teams, it’s hard to recognize the good coming from blowout losses like the one the Jazz suffered to the Rockets on Saturday night.

Houston was up 47-21 after the first quarter, leaving the Jazz to fill 36 minutes of garbage time in what quickly became a hopeless outing.

Little-used Kira Lewis Jr. made the most of his opportunity scoring 12 points, grabbing five rebounds, and dishing out four assists in 25 minutes off the bench, but what do those numbers mean when they were produced in what was ultimately an exhibition game?

And if that applies to Lewis Jr., what value can be gleaned from the production of the Jazz’s core young pieces trying to prove they belong in the NBA?

“We’ve got a lot of young players that are playing heavy minutes, and there’s times where we’re a little bit too thoughtful,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “We’re trying to follow a plan, we’re trying to execute perfectly what our responsibilities are, and we’re not playing the game.”

In an ideal world, the Jazz could have closed the season collecting losses to improve their draft pick, while still finding themselves in competitive games.

But, after falling to 3-16 in their last 19 contests, competitive games have been few and far between, and even harder to find on the road.

With their 28-point loss to the Rockets, the Jazz have dropped eight straight road games dating back to the trade deadline, with an average loss margin of 16.5 points.

George, Sensabaugh Struggling To Shoot

It’s been a difficult stretch of games for rookies Brice Sensabaugh and Keyonte George, especially from behind the three-point line.

Entering Saturday night Sensabaugh was shooting just 1-27 from downtown in his last seven games, while George was just 5-30 in his last five games.

Against the Rockets both rookies struggled again with George shooting 2-9 from downtown while Sensabaugh knocked down 2-10.

With their latest performance, the young duo is shooting a combined 13 percent on their last 76 attempts.

Though both players have shown real promise during their rookie seasons, including their combined eight rebounds and nine assists against the Rockets, they may be showing signs that they’re overburned on the offensive end with the number of veterans missing from the roster.

Jazz Standings Watch

With their fifth straight loss, the Jazz now sit at 29-42 on the season and sit 6.5 games back of the Rockets for the 11th seed in the West.

With 11 games left to play, the Jazz own the ninth-worst record in the NBA, 2.5 games back of the Atlanta Hawks.

If the regular season ended today, the Jazz would have a 96.9 percent chance of holding onto their first-round draft pick, and a 20.2 percent chance of moving up into the top-four picks of the draft.

Utah Jazz Next Opponent

The Jazz will face the Dallas Mavericks on Monday at 7 pm MST in Salt Lake City. The game will be televised on KJZZ, streamed on Jazz+, and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone.

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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Shorthanded Jazz No-Show In Loss To Rockets