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Houston Rockets: Win over Jazz Improves Playoff Positioning

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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

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

25

6-10

0-0

4-4

2

2

4

2

2

1

2

1

-8

16

Al Jefferson

43

9-19

0-0

0-1

2

9

11

4

2

0

3

4

0

18

Mo Williams

24

2-7

0-1

0-0

0

1

1

6

0

0

0

4

-17

4

Randy Foye

28

3-10

1-6

0-0

1

1

2

0

1

0

2

3

-3

7

Gordon Hayward

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

23

2-4

0-0

1-2

0

3

3

2

1

3

2

1

+1

5

Marvin Williams

21

1-3

0-2

0-0

0

3

3

0

0

1

0

1

-4

2

Enes Kanter

5

0-1

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

-7

0

Alec Burks

24

3-8

0-2

5-5

0

4

4

2

1

0

1

5

+6

11

Jamaal Tinsley

6

1-2

1-2

0-0

0

0

0

0

1

0

3

1

-7

3

DeMarre Carroll

DNP COACH’S DECISION

Jeremy Evans

DNP COACH’S DECISION

Earl Watson

DNP COACH’S DECISION

TOTALS

FGM-A

3PM-A

FTM-A

OREB

DREB

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

PTS

Fast break points:   8Points in the paint:   44Total 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

26

2-8

1-4

0-2

1

4

5

0

1

1

2

4

+8

5

Chandler Parsons

38

5-10

0-4

0-0

0

8

8

3

1

0

1

4

0

10

Omer Asik

35

3-8

0-0

3-4

4

8

12

0

0

1

3

2

+3

9

Jeremy Lin

30

9-13

1-1

5-6

0

2

2

6

0

0

2

3

-3

24

James Harden

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

13

1-2

0-0

1-2

1

2

3

0

1

0

0

2

+4

3

Thomas Robinson

17

2-7

0-1

0-0

1

5

6

0

0

0

2

2

0

4

Patrick Beverley

18

3-6

1-2

0-0

1

1

2

2

3

1

2

2

+10

7

Carlos Delfino

24

4-8

1-5

0-0

1

3

4

1

2

0

0

1

+6

9

Terrence Jones

DNP COACH’S DECISION

Aaron Brooks

DNP COACH’S DECISION

James Anderson

DNP COACH’S DECISION

Francisco Garcia

DNP COACH’S DECISION

TOTALS

FGM-A

3PM-A

FTM-A

OREB

DREB

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

PTS

Fast break points:   13Points in the paint:   46Total Team Turnovers (Points off turnovers):   16 (19)

+/- denotes team’s net points while the player is on the court.

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