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Aaron Falk and Steve Luhm cover the Utah Jazz and the NBA for The Salt Lake Tribune. The Tribune on Twitter - Aaron Falk: @tribjazz, Steve Luhm: @sluhm

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Jazz's Corbin says Hayward keeps growing as basketball player

Houston — Official postgame quotes following the Jazz's 103-91 victory against the Rockets at Toyota Center.

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COACH TYRONE CORBIN

(On how this was one of the biggest win of the year) "I agree with you whole-heartily this was one of the biggest wins of the year. Guys being short-handed coming in ready to play and to compete the entire game. I thought our defensive in the first half was great. We picked it up from there and we had a few lapses in the third quarter, but our effort was there the whole night. I told our guys we should enjoy this win, because they laid it out the line"

(On Gordon Hayward’s play) "He’s continuing to grow as a basketball player. He’s understanding what its going to take for him to be at another level to play in this league. He certainly has the ability to be one of those kind of guys and he continues to play well when he steps on the floor."

(On the teams win) " We settled down in the second half after we got away from what we were doing, we started rushing and they got more aggressive on the defensive end. We had to match their intensity and I thought we did a good job. We seemed to make the right play at the right time down the stretch."

GORDON HAYWARD

(On the win) "It was a big win, we need each and every win, especially coming down the stretch, the playoff race is so tight, so we can’t afford to lose and this was obviously a big win."

(On his season high) "My teammates were giving me open shots, finding me and sharing the ball, I was able to knock some shots down and got rolling a little bit. It’s a big-time win for us."

(On the playoffs) "Each and every game is important, we have another two games on the road trip and we need to make sure we finish off the trip."

AL JEFFERSON

(On the win) "We really needed it, it was big for us. Not only did we beat a team that was ahead of us, but we owned the tie-breaker (with Houston) now. We knew we had to come in a give it all we got, and we did."

(On playing against Kevin McHale’s team ) "I don’t really look at it like it is against Kevin, this was just a game we had to come out and win. Kevin McHale is just a great guy, player, a great coach, and a great person. It’s just an honor to play against him, the little time I had to spend with him in Minnesota, he was just a great guy to work with."

PAUL MILLSAP

(On the Jazz’s play) "Starting off games is our focus and when teams make their runs, just stepping up and putting a lot of pressure on them."

(On Hayward’s play ) "We play so well off each other, he makes great basketball plays. I love being out there with him, especially on the wing, because he knows how to play basketball. He’s a great playmaker and overall a great player."

HOUSTON ROCKETS QUOTES

COACH KEVIN McHALE

(On the game) "We weren't sharp. We had some turnovers. We got bogged down. They (Jazz) got deprivation on us early and we fought back a few different times. We had opportunities but could not seem to make that big shot or that big play that would kind of get us over the hump."

(On Goran Dragic) "He (Kyle Lowry) and Goran (Dragic) were tired. My big problem was that Goran was exhausted too, most of our play makers were. I knew Goran was tired when he deferred to Kyle as much as he did in the 4th (quarter). He kind of said, I'm going in the corner a little bit."

(On the Jazz) "You know what, you gotta give the Jazz credit. They made shots. (Gordon) Hayward came out and made some big shots and we weren't able to finish it off."

MARCUS CAMBY

(On the play of the Jazz) "They were hitting shots left and right, knocking down 3's, getting out in transition and getting themselves easy buckets so it was a tough cover for us tonight."

(On the play of Gordon Hayward and Paul Millsap) "I don't know, Millsap went sorta went to the three position. We had a favorable match up against our smaller 3's and we were able to shoot over the top of him and get pretty good looks. Hayward, we lost him a lot in our defensive assignments and the 3 point line and we just knocked him down."

LUIS SCOLA

(On if they played with the same intensity as they did on the road) "I think they (Jazz) just played better. They played way better than us the whole game. They just out-played us. We were trying to get back all game long. We did eventually get back down to 4 (points) but they were just playing better and sooner or later they came back ahead by 10 points again and then it was over."

(On the loss) "It was very difficult knowing they played much better than you and then they (Jazz) have a lot of confidence and then you (Rockets) have to fight from behind. It's difficult. We don't have any margin for error. We played great for a stretch and we came back and we were still down by 4 (points) so then sooner or later they (Jazz) started making shots. They (Jazz) made a couple of shots and then it went back to (Jazz) being up by 7 or 8 (points). We had no margin of error."

KYLE LOWRY

(On the play of the Jazz) "They played desperate tonight and they out-desperated us tonight. They played really, really extremely hard and a couple of guys on their team were rolling early and they kept it going."

(On the letdown of the loss) "We've just got to reset tomorrow. I think guys were a little bit tired tonight. They (Jazz) just played harder than us. I don't think we focused in on playing harder than them but that just happens. We had a great road trip and had a little bit of a letdown but we will bounce back."

GORAN DRAGIC

(On the Rockets problems defensively) "We were not organized on defense and they (Jazz) were hitting shots. We had our opportunities and if you're not solid on the offensive end and defense, it's tough to win, especially against the teams that are making a run for the playoffs. Today, we just didn't fight enough and we were not the Houston Rockets like in the last four games."

(On what the Rockets need to improve upon after this game) "It's defense. If you're going to make stops, it's going to be easier to win those kinds of games. On the road the last four games, we did that but tonight we just, I don't know, they (Jazz) were just hitting every open shots. We were late to rotation. They (Jazz) were getting offensive rebounds and it's tough to beat teams like that."

Houston had its four-game winning streak snapped with a 103-91 loss to Utah tonight. The defeat also gave the Jazz the season series, 2-1, over the Rockets.

The Rockets set their season low in field goal percentage by hitting just 31-of-87 (.356) from the floor tonight, which including 4-of-20 (.200) from beyond the arc. Houston also made just 32-of-82 (.390) from the field, including 6-of-23 (.261) 3-point attempts at Utah (2/29/12). The Rockets had connected on 29-of-58 (.500) from beyond the arc over the prior three games (4/6/12-4/9/12).

The Jazz finished 40-of-78 (.513) from the floor tonight. Houston had limited Utah to just 32-of-81 (.395) from the field in the last game at Toyota Center (2/19/12).

Houston tied its season high in fast break points with 25 tonight (25 on 4/8/12 at Sacramento), but lost the battle in the paint by a 54-36 margin to Utah.

The Rockets went 25-of-29 (.862) from the free throw line tonight. Houston was a combined 21-of-26 (.808) from the stripe over the previous two games at Sacramento (4/8/12) and at Portland (4/9/12). Goran Dragic (13-14 FT) and Kyle Lowry (8-9 FT) actually hit 21 free throws (21-23 FT) between the two guards.

Goran Dragic recorded team highs of 19 points (3-13 FG) and seven assists tonight, including a career-best 13-of-14 performance from the free throw line. Dragic has now reached double-figure scoring in a career-high 20 consecutive outings (3/6/12-4/11/12).

Kyle Lowry, who appeared in his first home outing since returning from a bacterial infection, collected 15 points (8-9 FT) and five assists tonight.

Marcus Camby notched nine points (4-7 FG), a game-high 13 rebounds and two blocks tonight. Camby has now recorded five double-digit rebounding games over the last seven outings.

Chandler Parsons picked up 13 points (5-11 FG) tonight, giving him 26 games of 10 or more points this season.

Gordon Hayward led the Jazz with a season-best 29 points (9-14 FG, 4-5 3FG, 7-7 FT) and six assists tonight. His previous season high was 26 points vs. Minnesota (3/15/12).

Paul Millsap registered 21 points (9-19 FG), seven boards, four assists, three steals and one block tonight. Millsap also scored 22 points (8-16 FG, 6-6 FT) in the last game at Houston (2/19/12).

Derrick Favors posted 10 points (4-5 FG), 11 rebounds and three blocks tonight. It marked his ninth double-double of the season.

DeMarre Carroll added 10 points (4-8 FG) and a season-high seven rebounds tonight. He also had a career-best 16 points at San Antonio (4/8/12).

The Salt Lake Tribune

Twitter: @tribjazz



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