Jazz send Rockets to 15th consecutive loss | Inquirer Sports

Jazz send Rockets to 15th consecutive loss

/ 03:03 PM March 13, 2021
Donovan Mitchell NBA

FILE – Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz looks on during a game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Vivint Smart Home Arena on January 19, 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Alex Goodlett/Getty Images/AFP

Donovan Mitchell scored 28 points to lead six Utah players in double figures as the Jazz fended off the shorthanded but stubborn Houston Rockets 114-99 on Friday in Salt Lake City.

Mitchell added seven rebounds and eight assists, while Mike Conley chipped in 20 points and four assists for the Jazz. Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson scored 15 points apiece, while Rudy Gobert added 14 points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots for Utah.

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The Jazz won their second-half opener and snapped their first two-game losing skid since early January.

Kevin Porter Jr. tallied 27 points and eight assists in just his second game — and first start — for the Rockets, who dropped their 15th consecutive game. Sterling Brown and Kenyon Martin Jr. scored 15 points apiece for Houston, which shot 36.9 percent overall and missed 34 of 43 of its 3-pointers.

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The Rockets were missing their top four leading scorers: Christian Wood, John Wall, Victor Oladipo and Eric Gordon, the latter who suffered a groin injury Thursday against the Sacramento Kings and will be sidelined a minimum of four weeks.

Houston was left with nine players, with veteran forward David Nwaba playing through a wrist injury that might require season-ending surgery.

Still, Houston fashioned an inspired effort. Utah led by 17 at the intermission and then by 23 at 86-63 when Mitchell hit a 3-pointer with 4:41 left in the third quarter.

But the Rockets cut that deficit in half by the close of the period and continued their surge in the final frame.

The Rockets opened the fourth with an 11-2 push, closing to within 94-90 on a Jae’Sean Tate steal and Nwaba basket.

Clarkson answered with a trey that pushed the advantage back to seven points, only for Porter to reply with a reverse layup.

It wasn’t until Royce O’Neale followed a Mitchell driving layup with a 3-pointer that the Jazz could breathe relatively easily with a 10-point lead in hand with 5:55 to play.

Utah shot 10 for 17 in the first quarter and made 12 of 14 free throws. The Jazz extended to a 17-point lead in the second period.

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TAGS: Donovan Mitchell, Houston Rockets, John Wall, NBA, rudy gobert, Utah Jazz
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