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Houston Rockets vs. Utah Jazz game preview

NBA: Utah Jazz at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

On November 5, the Rockets went scoreless for almost six minutes against the stingy defense of a healthy Utah Jazz squad.

In most years and against most teams, a six-minute drought is a death sentence. Offenses rule the land. Every team can score 110 points fairly easily (except maybe Chicago). Gone are the days of Jeff van Gundy squads getting into rock-throwing contests with opponents. Everyone has firepower now. Houston should have been in trouble.

They won by 27. James Harden had 56 points on 25 shots.

Much of the luster from this game was removed two nights ago with the Jazz collapsed late on a back-to-back in Oklahoma City. Had they won, this game would feature two squads on 7-game winning streaks.

As it is, the Jazz are still red-hot and will be dangerous because they are playing at home. Utah is 2-8 on the road with those wins coming against the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Clippers. Meanwhile, the Jazz are 11-4 at home and laid waste to some mediocre teams on their last homestand. The Jazz can only play who’s on the schedule and they caught a bit of a break with their schedule during the Rudy Gobert injury.

Utah has also entered the group of teams with a top 10 squad in terms of both offensive and defensive efficiency. Houston, Golden State, Boston, and Toronto are the others.

For the Jazz, Rudy Gobert is back and Donovan Mitchell is absolutely balling out. He’s averaging 27 points per game over his last 5 and even dropped 41 on the Pelicans. He’s shooting well over 50% from the field and he’s shooting 49% from deep over that time. Just to make it even more impressive, only once in this span has he attempted more than 5 free throws. This dude is the real deal.

Rodney Hood has missed four straight games with an ankle injury. For Houston, Nene is doubtful with a corneal abrasion and Ryan Anderson is probable after suffering a minor back injury in Los Angeles.

Tip-off is at 9:30pm CT on TNT and AT&T SportsNet SW