Clutch plays in final minutes carry Rockets past Jazz
Garrison Mathews hit a pair of late clutch free throws and scored 23 points off the bench to lift the Houston Rockets to a 116-111 win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night in Salt Lake City.
Jae’Sean Tate scored 18, Eric Gordon added 16, Kevin Porter Jr. contributed 15 (including a big 3-pointer with 22.4 seconds left) and Christian Wood chipped in 13 points and 15 rebounds for the Rockets. Those four players each drained three 3-pointers while Mathews sank five from deep as Houston shot a sizzling 22-for-45 (48.9 percent) from beyond the arc.
Houston overcame a 13-point, second-half deficit with a 15-0 run in the third quarter en route to winning its third game in four outings.
The Jazz, playing without All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell (concussion protocol), scored only 49 points in the second half while losing for the sixth time in seven games.
Scary Garry was on fire! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/BqsBDQB8ug
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) January 20, 2022
Utah’s Bojan Bogdanovic was the game’s leading scorer with 29 points, but he shot just 3-for-13 from 3-point range. Rudy Gobert totaled 23 points and nine rebounds, Jordan Clarkson netted 19 and Mike Conley scored 17 for the slumping Jazz.
Joe Ingles took Mitchell’s starting spot and contributed 10 points, six assists and five rebounds.
After blowing its lead and then falling behind 98-89 in the fourth quarter, Utah pulled back within two points three times late in the game.
However, Tate came up with a key three-point play for a five-point lead with 1:47 to go, and Porter’s clutch trey restored a five-point edge with 22.4 seconds left.
The Jazz used a 35-21 second quarter to gain a 62-57 lead at the break.
Utah stretched its lead to 75-62 in the third quarter after a 9-2 run capped by a Conley 3-pointer.
The Jazz then went 5 1/2 minutes without scoring as the Rockets took the lead at 77-75 thanks to a 15-0 spurt.
Clarkson ended the Jazz’s scoring drought by hitting 1 of 2 free throws at the 1:26 mark.
After Clarkson briefly put Utah back in front, Wood drained a 41-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Rockets an 83-81 lead heading into the fourth quarter
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