After coming out of a four-game road trip with a somewhat disappointing 2-2 record, the Utah Jazz returned to EnergySolutions Arena to face the Houston Rockets Monday. The Jazz played a solid game, winning 102-91.
After a stellar 32-18 second quarter, Utah enjoyed a relatively easy win, leading for a majority of the contest. Head coach Tyrone Corbin received a balanced attack from his players, who never were threatened.
The Houston Rockets’ backcourt of James Harden and Jeremy Lin has been one of the big stories of the early season. Suffering from illness, however, Harden managed to score just six points in a season-low 17 minutes. His backcourt mate tallied 13 points and six rebounds, but shot a paltry 5 of 15 in doing so.
Balanced ledger: As has been par for the course this season, several players contributed to the balanced effort. Five individuals reached double figures, with three others adding eight points. Twelve of the 13 players who earned time on the court were able to get into the scoring column. No one played more than 27 minutes.
The recently altered rotation looked more comfortable Monday evening. Gordon Hayward had his second consecutive 15-point outing, pacing the team. Al Jefferson and new starter Randy Foye each chipped in 14 points, while Marvin Williams had 12, scoring all his points in an explosive first half.
Point guards Mo Williams and Jamaal Tinsley combined to dish out 18 assists, with the reserve Tinsley accounting for 11 of them.
- In perhaps their most cohesive performance of the season, the Jazz successful moved the ball around. They assisted on 30 of their 37 field goals, a brilliant 81.1-percent clip.
- Likewise, they only had 14 miscues, finishing with a 2.14 assist-to-turnover ratio. Conversely, the Rockets had a 1.29 rate.
- Utah was out and running all evening, so it was no surprise it won the fast-break battle 30-19.
- The Jazz's big starting lineup was again instrumental in helping the team outrebound Houston.
- Despite the comfortable win, Utah shot just 37 of 92 from the floor — 40.2 percent. By going 9 of 21 on 3-pointers (42.9 percent), the Jazz shot from downtown better than they did everywhere else.
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.
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