Defense was nowhere in sight, as the Houston Rockets (8-8) topped the Utah Jazz (9-9) by a 124-116 score on Saturday night. This game was very much a seesaw battle between two evenly matched squads.
The Rockets jumped out to a nine-point lead in the second quarter, only to have it eradicated in the third as the Jazz took control, taking a one-point lead into the fourth quarter.
However, that lead wouldn't last, as James Harden and Co. were able to finish the game strong, outscoring the Jazz 39-30 in the final frame to take the victory.
All of Houston's starters finished in double figures in what was an incredibly balanced game for the Rockets. Patrick Patterson led the way with 20 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Jeremy Lin had a great game with 19 points and eight assists, while Harden added another 18 points and seven assists.
Utah had similar balance in its scoring totals, with four of its five starters finishing in double figures. Al Jefferson and Randy Foye each had 20 points, and Paul Millsap notched a double-double by scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 boards.
Gordon Hayward was the team's leading scorer, with 21 points off the bench.
Both teams proved to be efficient from beyond the arc in this game. The Rockets shot 50 percent (11-of-22) from long range, and the Jazz were even more impressive after shooting at a 55 percent clip (11-of-20).
Player of the Game: Patrick Patterson
Patterson led the way for the Rockets with 20 points and also grabbed seven boards while swatting away three shots. Patterson's great overall ability shined in this game, and he even flashed the range with a huge three-pointer late in the fourth quarter that gave Houston a three-point lead.
Patterson has now broken the 20-point mark four times this season, and he continues to show that he can be a reliable scoring option to join Chandler Parsons (19 points) in taking the pressure off Harden and Lin.
What's Next for Houston?
The Rockets will have a few days to enjoy this victory before inviting the Los Angeles Lakers into town on Tuesday. Despite the Lakers' struggles this season, this game should be a good indicator of where the Rockets stand in the Western Conference.
What's Next for Utah?
With only one day off, the Jazz will get ready to take on the Los Angeles Clippers at home on Monday. The Clippers have struggled of late, so this is a game the Jazz can certainly win if they come to play.
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