Ok, quiz time. Try to name 3 Jazz starters without looking it up. Hayward? Ok, that one was easy. Gobert? Nope out with an injury. Favors too. As well as Burks and Exum. Can’t do it? I couldn’t do it. I probably will forget their names before our rematch against the Jazz on Thursday.
For the record, you have Lyles at PF, Hood at Guard and Neto at the other Guard and then Witney at Center. All of these guys have a maybe a years experience between them.
No one would call Utah a stacked team, yet somehow the Rockets found themselves down 15 midway through the 3rd. The Jazz scored 37 points in the second quarter alone. Fueled by offensive rebounds (9 in the 1st half alone) and the Rockets TOs (10 in the 1st half). They didn’t have to shoot Houston out of the building, because we were giving them so many extra possessions.
Then at some point midway through the 3rd something seemed to click. Harden, who finished the first half with a decent 8 points, exploded in the 3rd for 13. 12 of those points were part of a 12-5 run at the end of the quarter to cut the lead to 8. Then in the 4th he added another 9. But it wasn’t as much the offense as it was the defense that held the Jazz to 19 points in the 3rd and 14 in the 4th and then only 6 offensive rebounds and 6 turnovers the entire half.
Dwight and Harden both played the entire 4th quarter. But some key changes to the rotation might’ve factored more into the comeback. Terrance Jones didn’t have a good first half and was benched in the 2nd half for Montres Harrell. I wouldn’t call Harrell a good defensive player, and not the best rebounder either. But he brought energy on the defensive end that had an effect on the game.
Then you had Jason Terry who replaced Beverly (Beverly actually had a solid game too). Actually seemed to channel Ty Lawson a bit. Harden had turned the ball over a few times in a row due to their trapping him on picks. So they had Terry start the offense. With two guys still shading Harden, Terry just drove to the basket for the easy layup. He had 2 of those types of plays late in the 4th and also was able to penetrate and find the open guy. He finished the game with 4 assists.
And then when Houston was up 3 with 10 seconds left in the game. Harden accidently fouled Hood while he was shooting the 3. Hood made the first two… but then missed the 3rd. And then it took Ariza tipping the ball off the backboard and Terry running in to get the rebound to seal the victory. Ironic the game was won on a defensive rebound.