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Utah Jazz instant analysis: Jazz don't have enough firepower at Houston in offensive shootout

By David Smith

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Dec. 1 2012 9:00 p.m. MST

Houston Rockets' Greg Smith, right, knocks the ball away from Utah Jazz's Alec Burks (10) in the second half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Houston. The Rockets won 124-116. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Associated Press

In a game that lacked defensive intensity, the Houston Rockets were an offensive juggernaut vs. the Utah Jazz on Saturday night. They used an explosive, dynamic fourth quarter to run past the Jazz, 124-116.

The game featured 21 3-pointers, two teams that shot above 51 percent, 13 players that hit double-digit scoring, and a total of 240 points between the squads. The defeat drops the Jazz to a disappointing 3-9 road record during a difficult early-season schedule.

Matador Defense: As was mentioned, the Utah Jazz provided very little defensive resistance in this game. From the onset, Houston was able to get good shots, both from the interior and the perimeter. It showed on the stat sheet, and subsequently the scoreboard:

  • Houston registered quarters of 28, 30, 27 and 39 points.
  • The Rockets made 46-of-83 shots from the field — a blistering 55.4-percent clip. Utah surrendered a deflating 62 points in the paint.
  • Utah gave up a fair amount of free throws, and Houston took advantage. The Rockets made 21 of 26 from the charity stripe, compared to a paltry 11 attempts for the Jazz.
  • Houston nailed 11-of-22 3-pointers, with five deadly daggers coming in the fourth quarter.
  • Not only did seven Rockets players reach double-digits, but each scored at least 13.
Particularly noticeable was the way Houston continually found success with dribble-drive penetration. The swingmen quartet of James Harden, Jeremy Lin, Chandler Parsons, and Carlos Delfino were able to consistently and easily drive through the defense, creating either for themselves or for teammates. There were five or six instances where Houston players were able to get from the perimeter to the basket for dunks.

Closing Notes:

  • Alec Burks easily had his most productive game of his season, scoring 11 points in 14 active minutes. To put it in perspective, over his first seven appearances, the second-year guard had 10 total points in 61 minutes.
  • Despite averaging 5.6 assists per outing, Jazz point guard Jamaal Tinsley did not see the court. Utah head coach Tyrone Corbin opted to go with Earl Watson, who had two points and three assists in 12 minutes.
  • With Marvin Williams and Derrick Favors both on the sideline, forward Jeremy Evans earned a season-high nine minutes after five straight DNP-CDs. He ended up with four points and three rebounds but struggled against some of Houston’s strong, bulkier bigs.

David Smith provides instant analysis for Deseret News' Utah Jazz coverage. He works for LDS Philanthropies and also blogs for the Utah Jazz 360 website. He can be reached at mechakucha1@gmail.com or on Twitter at davidjsmith1232.

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