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NBA: Rockets dominant against Jazz

Published January 28, 2013 11:50 pm

Visitors shine • Jeremy Lin and Houston look unstoppable at EnergySolutions Arena.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

If Houston can play better than it did in a 125-80 victory over Utah on Monday night, the Jazz don't want any part of it.

The Rockets, who won for the fourth time in their last five games, dominated Utah from start to finish.

Over the final three quarters, Houston outscored the Jazz, 97-58, and handed them their worst home-court loss in franchise history.

"We played really well," coach Kevin McHale said. "It was one of those nights where a lot of stuff went our way. We played the right way, though. We moved the ball."

The Rockets shot 52.8 percent, assisted on 27 of 47 field goals and committed only five turnovers.

"It's a testament to how the ball really moved and how everybody was looking for everybody," said point guard Jeremy Lin. "When you have a team play like that — so unselfishly — it's a beautiful thing to watch."

Said McHale: "That's the way we have to play. We have to play with pace. We have to move the ball. The ball can't get sticky. It has to go from side to side and guys have to make plays. They have to trust each other to make plays."

Lin finished with 12 points and seven assists.

"We did a good job of sharing the ball," he said. "The shots found the players, I think. We played with high energy."

Defensively, the Rockets were just as good.

They limited the Jazz to 39 percent shooting, forced 15 turnovers and limited Utah's Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap to 7-for-23 shooting.

One of the keys: Lin playing off Jazz point guards Jamaal Tinsley and Earl Watson and helping against Jefferson and Millsap.

"I thought Jeremy did a really nice job ... of making Watson and Tinsley make a few shots," McHale said. "He really did a nice job of clogging it up — being kind of a safety for us."

Lin credited McHale and his staff for "getting us a good game plan and trying to take away some of their options."