The Utah Jazz saved no energy for Houston after surviving an
overtime thriller at home the previous night.
Aaron Brooks and Kevin Martin scored 28 points apiece, and Rick
Adelman became the 11th coach to reach 900 career victories in the
Rockets’ easy 113-96 win over the sluggish Jazz on Wednesday.
Carlos Boozer had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Deron Williams
added 12 points and seven assists for Utah, which couldn’t hold
onto the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference.
The Jazz were coming off a one-point overtime win over Oklahoma
City in Salt Lake City on Tuesday night and didn’t arrive in
Houston until about 4 a.m.
They looked a step slow from the start against the Rockets and
trailed 60-46 at halftime. Williams, who scored a career-high 42
points against the Thunder, started 1 for 5 from the field and gave
away six of Utah’s 14 first-half turnovers.
“Coach (Jerry Sloan) told us to leave it all on the floor
(against Oklahoma City),” Williams said. “I don’t like to make
excuses, but it was a tough game for us, a tough turnaround. I
tried to get it going. I just never really had that energy.”
Utah trailed by as many as 26 in the second half, and Sloan
benched his starters for the fourth quarter.
“We couldn’t stay with them from the beginning,” Sloan said.
“I expect a lot from our guys every game. If the energy is not
there, it just isn’t there.”
Chuck Hayes grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds and Luis Scola
added 24 points for the Rockets, who have consecutive victories for
the first time since mid-March.
The Rockets also played on Tuesday, earning a 10-point win in
“They probably had tired legs, they had a tough, hard-fought
game,” Hayes said. “But that’s the NBA. You’re going to have
back-to-backs like that.”
Brooks hit five 3-pointers and has 197 this season, a new
franchise record. He passed former teammate Rafer Alston, who sank
192 in the 2006-07 season.
“The Rockets have a good history,” Brooks said. “It’s good to
be in the books somewhere.”
Houston controlled the boards early and built an 11-point lead.
Hayes grabbed eight rebounds in the first quarter, two on one
Houston possession that resulted in an open perimeter jumper for
“We were touching a lot of balls, we were deflecting a lot of
passes,” said Scola, who had five rebounds, two steals and a
block. “We pretty much controlled the whole game.”
The Rockets also went 5 for 5 from 3-point range and 12 for 22
from the field overall in the first quarter to lead 33-22. The
Rockets stretched the lead to 16 early in the second quarter and
hit their first seven 3s before Brooks missed with about 5 minutes
left in the half.
Houston also went 11 for 14 from the free throw line in the half
to preserve a comfortable lead.
Hayes matched his previous career high for rebounds (17) with
five minutes left in the third quarter. Brooks swished his fifth
3-pointer with 4:35 left for an 87-61 lead, Houston’s biggest of
In the first minute of the fourth quarter, Houston backup point
guard Kyle Lowry flipped an alley-oop pass to Chase Budinger, who
finished with a one-handed dunk to make it 100-77.
The Jazz finished with 26 turnovers that led to 24 points for
Houston. Utah also went 3 for 15 from 3-point range.
NOTES: Jazz C Mehmet Okur left in the third quarter and did not
return due to tendinitis in his left Achilles’. … The NBA
announced earlier that officials missed a foul in the final seconds
of Utah’s overtime victory over Oklahoma City. Sloan could not
recall a specific instance when the league acknowledged an
officiating mistake after the fact – though it has happened during
each of the last two postseasons. “That’s part of basketball,”
Sloan said. “I don’t think you can spend all your time worrying
about that. Once it’s over, you might be upset a little bit at the
moment, but life goes on. You can’t do anything about it.” … The
Rockets announced that F Shane Battier would sit out the rest of
the season with a sprained left knee. Battier was injured on March
21 in New York.