Jazz power forward Paul Millsap felt better about things on Saturday.
Millsap scored 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds during Utah’s 114-100 win over Washington on Friday night.
After two straight subpar outings, Millsap’s contribution against the Wizard was undeniable.
In the opening minutes of the third quarter, he scored eight points during a 30-12 run that helped the Jazz pull away.
“I feel like I put too much pressure on myself,” Millsap said. “But I now I feel better about it.”
In January, Millsap scored at least 16 points in nine straight games. He had a high of 31 and six games with at least 20.
Playing against opponents like the Lakers’ Pau Gasol, Minnesota’s Kevin Love, Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki and the Clippers’ Blake Griffin, Millsap emerged as a candidate for the All-Star game.
It didn’t happen, however, and that might have triggered Millsap’s two-game funk, when he shot 6-for-18 against New Orleans and Oklahoma City.
“It could have,” Millsap said. “You try not let things like that get to you. But when you don’t accomplish the goals you set out [for yourself], it affects you a little bit.”
Asked how he got himself going against Washington, especially in the third quarter, Millsap said, “Just doing the little things. Running the floor. Offensive rebounding. I feel I’m at my best when I’m offensive rebounding.”
Waiting to be activated
The Jazz signed free-agent forward DeMarre Carroll for the rest of the season on Feb. 8, but he has not been activated for any of the past four games.
“He has to be patient with us,” coach Tyrone Corbin said. “Unfortunately, because of when he came in, we don’t have a lot of time to get him on the floor and get him reps with the plays.”
Corbin’s advice for Carroll, who started the season with Denver?
“Just be patient,” Corbin said. “Keep working. We’ll get you some individual workouts and get you on the floor in practice as much as we can. We’ll get it figured out, but it will take us a little while.”
Carroll doesn’t sound discouraged.
“People that last in this business,” he said, “are true professionals.”
Ready for Rockets
The Jazz and Rockets play the first in a three-game season series Sunday night.
Houston has lost three of its past four games, but the lone victory was a 96-95 thriller over Oklahoma City, which rolled to an easy 111-85 win over the Jazz last week.
Under new coach Kevin McHale, the Rockets average 97.6 points per game — seventh in the league.
“They are a good team,” Corbin said. “They’ve bought into what Kevin is trying to do and they execute really well on the offensive end. ...
“Defensively, they are a tough ballclub. They are going to be physical with you. They want to create tempo for their offense by playing really good defense.”