Carlos Boozer scored 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds as Utah beat Houston 105-96 on Monday, pulling the Jazz even with the Rockets in the muddled Western Conference standings with one game to go in the regular season.
Both teams are 54-27, but by winning two of three against the Rockets the Jazz would hold home-court advantage if they still have identical records after Wednesday and meet in the opening round of the playoffs.
Mehmet Okur added 12 points and 12 rebounds and Deron Williams finished with 17 points and nine assists for the Jazz, who won for the sixth time in seven games and finished their home schedule 37-4. It's Utah's best home record since winning 38 games in 1996-97.
Tracy McGrady and Luis Scola scored 22 each for Houston, which fell short with a late rally after trailing by 17 at the end of the third quarter.
The Rockets hit some late 3-pointers to get within seven down the stretch, but got no closer.
Ronnie Brewer scored 12, Matt Harpring added 11 points and nine rebounds and Paul Millsap had nine points and three blocks as the Jazz avenged one of their few home losses of the season.
Houston was the first team to visit Utah this season and the last. The Rockets spoiled Utah's home opener on Nov. 1, but the Jazz almost ran away with the finale and can clinch home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs with just one more win. Unfortunately for the Jazz, that game is in San Antonio, where Utah has lost 17 straight regular-season games.
Houston closes the regular season at home Wednesday against the Clippers.
The Rockets never recovered after Utah's 35-point second quarter.
After going almost 4 minutes without a field goal late in the first quarter, the Jazz found their touch in the second. Utah went 13-for-21 and outscored Houston 35-19 to take a 56-41 lead at halftime. The Jazz closed the second on a 14-3 run and held the Rockets to 6-of-18 shooting in the period. Houston went without a field goal from 6:00 until 7 seconds remained in the period.
Boozer scored seven as the Jazz outscored Houston 12-1 during one stretch, taking a 51-39 lead when he banked in a shot with 2:03 left in the quarter.
Houston made a slight dent in the third when Bobby Jackson made three free throws, including one for a technical on Williams, to cut the lead to 76-52. Williams and Jackson had gotten tied up on a loose ball and Williams was called for the foul.
Williams argued he had the ball and stared down referee Phil Robinson, who after a few moments had enough and called the technical. Scola added two free throws to make it 72-60, but Brewer answered for Utah with back-to-back dunks, then two free throws when he was fouled by Jackson while taking in a steal for what would have been another dunk.
Brewer's 6-0 spurt put Utah up 78-60 and the Jazz led 84-67 at the end of the third.
Notes: C.J. Miles got a lucky basket when he leaped for a rebound on a miss by Okur and tipped the ball in from a few feet out in the first quarter. ... Portland, Boston and the Los Angeles Lakers were the only teams besides the Rockets to win in Utah this season. ... The Rockets were outrebounded 50-38.