Jan 28, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin (7) reacts during the second half against the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena. The Rockets won 125-80. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Rockets: Win over Jazz Improves Playoff Positioning

 

Before Wednesday’s game against the Utah Jazz, the Houston Rockets knew how big their game would be.  James Harden and Jeremy Lin led the Rockets to a 100-93 win over the Jazz and now hold the no. 7 seed in the west by 1½ games over the Los Angeles Lakers, and a 3 game lead over the Jazz, while owning tie-breakers against both teams.

“We only have a handful of games left, and this game today was a huge game from standings, to them trying to catch us, to us having the tiebreaker,” Harden said. “Guys played like it, especially at the beginning.”

Harden led the way with 29 points, while Lin added 24 points and 6 assists.  The Rockets held a comfortable lead for much of the game, leading by 19 at the end of the third quarter.  A late surge by the Jazz made the final score respectable.

The Jazz, who have now lost 10 of their last 13 games, was led by Gordon Hayward, who had 27 points, and Al Jefferson, who added 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Lin had a strong third quarter, scoring 10 points, including seven straight for the Rockets early in the period. The point guard has scored at least 21 points in each of the last three games.

“I thought that Jeremy made some big hoops coming down the stretch when we needed them,” Kevin McHale said. “They were really intent on staying with James in the second half and really not giving him a lot of room, so Jeremy really broke free.”

The much needed win comes after an embarrassing loss to the Golden State Warriors at home.  The Rockets host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.

Box Score:

Utah Jazz

STARTERS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Paul Millsap, PF 25 6-10 0-0 4-4 2 2 4 2 2 1 2 1 -8 16
Al Jefferson, C 43 9-19 0-0 0-1 2 9 11 4 2 0 3 4 0 18
Mo Williams, PG 24 2-7 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 6 0 0 0 4 -17 4
Randy Foye, PG 28 3-10 1-6 0-0 1 1 2 0 1 0 2 3 -3 7
Gordon Hayward, SG 42 9-15 3-4 6-8 0 8 8 2 1 0 1 2 +4 27
BENCH MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Derrick Favors, PF 23 2-4 0-0 1-2 0 3 3 2 1 3 2 1 +1 5
Marvin Williams, PF 21 1-3 0-2 0-0 0 3 3 0 0 1 0 1 -4 2
Enes Kanter, C 5 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 -7 0
Alec Burks, PG 24 3-8 0-2 5-5 0 4 4 2 1 0 1 5 +6 11
Jamaal Tinsley, PG 6 1-2 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 1 -7 3
DeMarre Carroll, SF DNP COACH’S DECISION
Jeremy Evans, SF DNP COACH’S DECISION
Earl Watson, PG DNP COACH’S DECISION
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
36-79 5-17 16-20 5 31 36 19 9 5 14 22 93
45.6% 29.4% 80.0%
Fast break points:   8
Points in the paint:   44
Total Team Turnovers (Points off turnovers):   14 (17)
+/- denotes team’s net points while the player is on the court.

Houston Rockets

STARTERS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Donatas Motiejunas, PF 26 2-8 1-4 0-2 1 4 5 0 1 1 2 4 +8 5
Chandler Parsons, SF 38 5-10 0-4 0-0 0 8 8 3 1 0 1 4 0 10
Omer Asik, C 35 3-8 0-0 3-4 4 8 12 0 0 1 3 2 +3 9
Jeremy Lin, PG 30 9-13 1-1 5-6 0 2 2 6 0 0 2 3 -3 24
James Harden, SG 38 5-14 2-6 17-18 0 2 2 3 2 1 3 3 +7 29
BENCH MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Greg Smith, PF 13 1-2 0-0 1-2 1 2 3 0 1 0 0 2 +4 3
Thomas Robinson, PF 17 2-7 0-1 0-0 1 5 6 0 0 0 2 2 0 4
Patrick Beverley, PG 18 3-6 1-2 0-0 1 1 2 2 3 1 2 2 +10 7
Carlos Delfino, SG 24 4-8 1-5 0-0 1 3 4 1 2 0 0 1 +6 9
Terrence Jones, PF DNP COACH’S DECISION
Aaron Brooks, PG DNP COACH’S DECISION
James Anderson, SG DNP COACH’S DECISION
Francisco Garcia, SG DNP COACH’S DECISION
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
34-76 6-23 26-32 9 35 44 15 10 4 15 23 100
44.7% 26.1% 81.3%
Fast break points:   13
Points in the paint:   46
Total Team Turnovers (Points off turnovers):   16 (19)
+/- denotes team’s net points while the player is on the court.

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