Sport | Basketball

Rockets hand Jazz worst home loss, 125-80

Harden scores 25 points in Houston’s third straight victory

  • AP
  • Published: 13:02 January 29, 2013
  • Gulf News

Salt Lake City: James Harden scored 25 points and the Houston Rockets rolled by the Jazz 125-80 on Monday night, handing Utah its worst home loss in franchise history.

The Jazz had won six straight at home but simply couldn’t keep pace in transition. They were outscored 26-2 on the break and shot just 39.5 per cent. Their previous worst was by 33 points to Milwaukee on November 18, 1980.

Carlos Delfino and Marcus Morris each hit four three-pointers for Houston, which made 16 of 34 from beyond the arc. Omer Asik had 19 rebounds as the Rockets (25-22) won their third straight.

Houston led by 21 points in the second, by 35 in the third and kept pouring it on fourth.

Randy Foye led Utah with 12 points.

The Jazz hardly looked like the team that had won nine of their previous 12. They fell behind by nine early but rallied to tie it at 22 late in the first.

After that it was all Houston, prompting fans to boo and head for the exits early in the third quarter.

At one point, Houston hit three straight 3-pointers, two by Morris and another by Harden, who took a seat on the bench with the rest of the Rockets starters the entire fourth.

Morris opened the fourth with another three just to put an exclamation point on the night.

The Rockets led by as many as 21 points in the second, thanks to aggressive moves to the rim by Harden and the three-point shooting of Delfino.

Harden had 18 points by half-time and Delfino 14 in just 12 minutes off the bench as he hit his first four three-pointers.

The Jazz scored 39 points in the first half.

Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson were a combined 0 for seven to start and five of 18 at halftime.

By then it was over.

To think the Rockets had a hard time even getting to Utah. A blizzard had them grounded on Sunday night in Grand Junction, Colorado.

They arrived in Salt Lake City early enough for Jeremy Lin to slip in for the last screening of the documentary “Linsanity” during the Sundance Film Festival.

The movie premiered about a year after Lin began catapulting to worldwide stardom in New York. He was an afterthought only a month before, cut by the Rockets on Christmas Day and claimed by the Knicks off waivers.

He only took five shots on Monday, but hit them all to finish with 12 points. Chandler Parsons and Patrick Patterson each added 12.

Morris finished with 16 points and Delfino 14.

Jefferson added 10 points for Utah but shot just 5 of 14.

The Rockets jumped out to a 15-6 lead as they hit seven of nine shots to open.

The Jazz were without third-leading scorer Gordon Hayward, who sprained his right shoulder late in Saturday’s overtime win over Indiana. He had been averaging 14.5 points and shooting 47.1 per cent from beyond the arc during the month. It was the first game he did not play since his rookie season three years ago.

Even he probably couldn’t have made a difference in this one.

Gulf News
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