I’ve been here before. Every player goes through it. —Rodney Hood
SALT LAKE CITY — Earlier this week, Rodney Hood appeared to be Utah’s go-to option.
His shots were falling as he dropped a season-high 25 points against Dallas, but the past two games have been rough for the former Duke star.
Hood was held scoreless in Wednesday’s overtime win against Portland, then shot 6 for 19 in Friday’s 109-100 loss to Toronto.
He has shot 6 for 30 in the past two games, but the 6-foot-8 shooting guard remains positive during the slump.
“I’ve been here before. Every player goes through it,” Hood said. “You just understand that a few games ago that I’ve got hot.
“You’ve just got to have that mentality that the next one will go in,” he added. “I’m very confident in myself. I’ve just got to not show emotion when I miss shots.”
It’s easy to become mental when the ball isn’t going through the net.
“These nights happen,” said Hood, who averages 14.3 points per game. “I’ve just got to stay confident.”
As a team, Utah (5-4) drained 43.8 percent of its field goals while shooting 34.8 percent from behind the 3-point line against Toronto. The Utah bench also outscored Toronto 36-26. But according to Jazz coach Quin Snyder and big man Rudy Gobert, the offense wasn’t the problem — even with Hood struggling to find a groove.
“We’ve just got to keep getting better, keep getting to know each other, and be smarter, for sure,” Gobert said.
“We’re not going to win if we don’t play defense better than that,” Snyder said.
RICKY RUBIO STRUGGLES: A lot of hype surrounded veteran floor general Ricky Rubio after his 30-point performance Wednesday night to help Utah beat Portland 112-103 in overtime. Over a three-game stretch, Rubio was scoring 23.6 points per game, but didn’t do so well against All-Star guard Kyle Lowry. Rubio ended with 13 points on 3-for-12 shooting with three assists and four turnovers.
TREY BURKE TO PLAY IN NBA G LEAGUE: Former Jazzman Trey Burke was announced Friday as a member of the Westchester Knicks’ opening night roster. Westchester is an NBA G League affiliate of the New York Knicks and will hit the road Saturday to face the Windy City Bulls. Burke spent the first three seasons of his career in Utah after being drafted No. 9 in the 2013 NBA draft.