Houston Rockets End 4-Game Losing Streak With Win in Utah

Jan 4, 2016; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles past Utah Jazz forward Chris Johnson (23) in the second quarter at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 4, 2016; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles past Utah Jazz forward Chris Johnson (23) in the second quarter at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports /

Houston Rockets Create Sweet Music in Utah – End Four Game Losing Streak

In an emotional roller coaster game the Houston Rockets  mired in a 4-game losing streak rallied to beat the Jazz. The win moves the Rockets ahead of the Utah Jazz who started the day ahead of them as the seventh seed in the Western Conference.

Though just a third of the way into the season this game felt like a must win for the Rockets as they inched perilously closer to the outside of the playoff seeds.

Down 69-57 with five minutes left in the third, the Rockets looked like they were headed for their fifth straight loss. However, unlike their previous losses the Rockets didn’t give up, digging deep to overcome adversity. Harden’s hot second half of scoring coupled with Montrezl Harrell‘s defense culminated in a nail biting Rockets win.

Rockets Player Grades

B. Over the past few games Howard has played like the league’s most dominant center. Unfortunately, tonight not so much. His teammates fed him the ball, but Jazz players double teamed him in the low post. However, as the defensive anchor for the team he did a good job protecting the paint. Good night for Howard as he recorded another double-double. 16 points, 13 rebounds. . C. Houston Rockets. DWIGHT HOWARD

CLINT CAPELA. D. Perhaps it was the high altitude in Utah, but Capela did not have a good night. 2 points, 5 rebounds.. C. Houston Rockets

B. Glad to see Ariza has returned to the Rockets. Not sure if that was his twin brother playing the last few games, but this is the Trevor Ariza Rockets fans want to see! He had a great night offensively, but could have played better defense on Jazz’s star forward Gordon Hayward. Yea, Hayward is a great player, but Ariza could have defended him better than he did tonight. Despite his lack of defense, he did manage to get his hand on a few passes. Overall it was a good night for Ariza. 14 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals. SF. Houston Rockets. TREVOR ARIZA

A. Have to give credit to the Jazz’s defense. Their defense made this a miserable night for the bearded-one in the first half. Like I stated once before, this guy has to learn how to impact the game in more ways than scoring. When every shot banked off the side iron in the first half, it would have been nice to see Harden pick his defense up and become a play maker for his teammates. However, the second half was a different story. When his team was down by 15 late in the third, Harden went into MVP mode and single-handedly led the Rockets on a fourth quarter rally. He manage to score 22 in the second half, and help steal a victory<span style=. SG. Houston Rockets. JAMES HARDEN

PATRICK BEVERLEY. B-. With his best Harden step-back imitation, Beverley had a good game. With so much of the Jazz’s defensive attention on Harden, Beverley did a nice job taking over the scoring burden for the Rockets in the first half. Over the past few games, Beverley has look more confident in his offensive ability, and it carried over in Utah. The only negative with Beverley’s increased offensive game is it is effecting him on the defensive end as he’s tending to relax there now. I have yet to see the defensive specialist he once was three years ago. 10 points, 3 assists.  . PG. Houston Rockets

Best Reserve

Although I wanted to give Best Reserve to Corey Brewer for being their leading scorer off the bench with 11 points, I could not over look Montrezl Harrell’s impact. This was his first game back from the D-League and he made a huge defensive contribution for the Rockets on the court.  Though Harden’s 22 points in the second half were critical so to was <span style=. PF. Houston Rockets. MONTREZL HARRELL. A-

Best Opponent:

Okay this was a huge surprise! Once again the Rockets’ lack of defense allowed another no name player to demolish them. The Rockets allowed Hood to shoot 83 percent from the field, and put on one of his best performances of his career. Good game for the second year guard from Duke. 23 points, 7 assist.  . SG. Utah Jazz. RODNEY HOOD. A

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