Five Rockets scored in double figures, led by Terrence Jones’ 28 as they ended their season-high three game losing streak with a 124-86 win over the Utah Jazz.
“Losing three in a row, we definitely didn’t want to make it four,” Rockets forward Chandler Parsons said.
Playing without Dwight Howard for the first time all season (sprained ankle) the Rockets outrebounded Utah 38-24 and blocked 12 shots, four were from Jones.
“It’s the Terrence Jones that has been playing all season,” Rockets guard James Harden said. “Just being explosive and knocking down shots, rebounding the basketball, and playing at a high level.”
Omer Asik started in place of Howard and had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds in 28 minutes.
“Omer played very well,” Rockets head coach Kevin McHale said. “He played real well last season, so it wasn’t like it was the first time I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it many times.”
The Jazz scored the game’s first bucket, but Houston took the lead after a Jones three, and they never trailed again, pushing their lead to as many 41 in the fourth quarter.
After leading by eight after a quarter, the Rockets outscored Utah 32-21 in the second quarter to take a 60-41 lead into the locker room. James Harden led the way with 13 points on five-of-seven shooting. He finished with 15, but only played 10 minutes in the second half.
Houston shot 58 percent from the field, assisting on 31 of 46 made baskets and they knocked down 13 of their 26 attempts from behind the three-point arc.
The win gets the Rockets to 45-22, with their next game not coming until Thursday when Minnesota comes to town. Monday was the first in a six game stretch that has the team playing nobody over .500.
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