No one could have predicted a history-setting evening for the Utah Jazz. Unfortunately, it was a record for futility that Utah came away with Monday. The Houston Rockets barely broke a sweat in their dominant 125-80 victory over their longtime rivals.
With one minute left in the first quarter, Utah went on a mini-burst to knot the game up at 22. The Jazz then got sloppy, leading to six quick Houston points right before the quarter’s end.
It was downhill from that point as the Rockets built an insurmountable lead. When it was all said and done, Utah had suffered its largest home loss in franchise history.
Numbers Tell the Story: Statistics help demonstrate the type of evening it was for the Jazz. First, to hint at Houston’s excellence:
• Houston set the tone from the get-go, playing an aggressive, smooth-flowing offense. Propelled by their endless forays to the basket, which opened up their deadly outside shooting, the Rockets poured it on, connecting on 47 of 89 from the field (52.8 percent).
• A loose Houston team outran a listless Jazz squad, putting 26 fast-break points on the board. Utah managed just two.
• First-time All-Star James Harden registered 25 points in a mere 28 minutes. Six Houston players scored in double figures and all 13 who saw the court tallied three or more points.
• Houston was relentless from the perimeter, hitting a devastating 16-of-34 3-point field goal attempts (47.1 percent).
• The Rockets were constantly hitting the open man. They dished out 27 assists compared to a remarkable five total turnovers — a 5.4 assist-to-turnover ratio.
• Omer Asik corralled 19 rebounds, helping give the Rockets a 44-39 board edge.
Likewise, the numbers paint the portrait of Utah’s horrendous night:
• Utah looked overpowered and tentative offensively. In many plays, the Jazz slowly exhausted most of the shot clock, leading to poor execution. The result was 32 of 81 from the field (39.5 percent).
• Usually a strength, Utah made just 5-of-18 3-pointers.
• Eleven of the 13 Jazz players finished with negative plus-minus marks of minus-10 or worse.
• The Jazz had 19 assists while committing 15 turnovers.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at davidjsmith1232.