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Houston Rockets vs. Utah Jazz game preview

Let’s Run it Back

Utah Jazz v Houston Rockets Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

In recent years, the NBA switched the old “home and away” series for “home and home” series. It was mostly born of a desire to curtail travel during the COVID-protocol years. If two teams could play twice in back-to-back games, it allowed schedule-makers some flexibility. Now that the league has moved past the pandemic, we’re getting the old style where teams swap locations.

The Rockets picked up a big win in the first game between these two. They knocked Utah off the list of unbeaten teams and gave themselves a jolt of confidence. Houston’s core cadre of Kevin Porter Jr., Jalen Green, and Jabari Smith Jr. all had solid outings, which bodes well. Houston also won despite missing Bruno Fernando and Alperen Sengun. Fernando is out indefinitely, and Sengun is also going to be out again with an illness. On the positive side, Jae’Sean Tate was upgraded to questionable. So even with two steps back, there’s one step forward.

Usually, the home teams win the “home and away” games, so you get a split. Houston has a chance to buck that trend tonight, but Utah hasn’t played at home since their opening game. That means we’re in for a loud and raucous Delta Center EnergySolutions Arena Vivint Smart Home Arena Vivint Arena.

Tip-off is at 8pm CT on AT&T SportsNet Southwest