Mike Conley scored the first basket of the game at the 11:34 mark in the first quarter. Conley’s mid-range jumper gave the Utah Jazz a lead they never came close to surrendering. By the time the final buzzer sounded, it was a wire-to-wire victory for Utah as the Houston Rockets sustained a 112-89 loss to the Jazz, Wednesday Night, inside the Toyota Center in Houston.
With the loss, the Rockets dropped their seventh game in eight tries with their record falling to 15-44 on the season. The Jazz, who still possesses the NBA’s best record (44-15), now holds a 2-0 regular-season series lead over the Rockets.
Only three players scored in double-figures for Houston amid what was one of their worst shooting performances of the year. They shot 35.4 percent from the floor while connecting on 10 of their 49 shots from behind the arc — ending the night shooting an abysmal 19.1 percent from deep.
John Wall led Houston in scoring with 21 points (8-19 FG, 1-5 3PT) and six assists in the loss. Christian Wood poured in 16 points (6-12 FG, 1-4 3PT) and eight rebounds in 30 minutes.
“It's demoralizing when you are getting open shots and you are not making them. But it is also a reality that we are missing four of our best shooters. Danuel House, D.J. Augustin, Eric Gordon and Sterling Brown. Without them, it’s going to be hard for us to make those open shots.” — Stephen Silas
Rockets’ head coach Stephen Silas credited most of the Rockets’ offensive struggles to the defense of Jazz’s big man Rudy Gobert. Gobert was disruptive in the middle as Silas said he forced the Rockets to shoot jump shots by staying in the paint all game. Gobert ended the night with 19 points, 18 rebounds and two blocks in the win.
The Rockets were short-handed in the backcourt with the absence of Kevin Porter Jr. Prior to tip-off, Silas announced that Porter is out until Sunday after violating the NBA’s health-and-safety protocol during their Florida road trip in Miami.
What led the Jazz to an easy 23-point blowout over the Rockets was their 3-point shooting. Utah shot 37.0 percent from 3-point range, with Joe Ingles connecting on six of his 10 shots from behind the arc. The Australian native scored 21 points in 29 minutes for Utah.
Jordan Clarkson, the front runner for Sixth Man of the Year honors, scored a game-high 22 points off the bench for the Jazz.
“That’s what they [Jazz] are going to do. They are going to stay home on the shooters while Gobert is in the middle daring you to attack him. If there is any help off him, they are going to dare you to shoot those shots. Unfortunately, we did not make them tonight.” — Silas
Following the loss, the Rockets will try to end their two-game losing streak on Friday against the Los Angeles Clippers. Tip-off is slated for 7:00 P.M. CT inside the Toyota Center.