p>Gordon Hayward kind of smiled and shook his head when he was asked about the Houston Rockets after shootaround this morning. Last month, the Jazz dominated them for two quarters, only to collapse in the second half.
Is that the kind of game that stays in a player's mind weeks later?
"Definitely when you guys bring it up," Hayward responded. "It's tough losing those games and we had a bunch of them early in the season. Hopefully we can get our revenge tonight."
The Rockets will be without point guard Jeremy Lin tonight, but Houston is still loaded with weapons — including James Harden and Dwight Howard.
Slowing down Harden will be key if the Jazz hope to have a chance.
"We contained their dribblers early in the first half [last time against Houston] and we got stops defensively," Hayward said. "In the second half, I can remember, they got to the paint way too easily and that just opens it up for them. It creates everything for them."
Tipoff • 7 p.m. MT.
TV • ROOT Sports
Radio • 97.5 FM, 960 AM, 1280 AM
Utah's probable starters:
PG — Trey Burke, 11.2 ppg, 3 apg
SG — Gordon Hayward, 16.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg
SF — Richard Jefferson, 10.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg
PF — Marvin Williams, 10.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg
C — Derrick Favors, 13.2 ppg, 9.5 rpg
Houston's probable starters:
PG — Pat Beverley, 9.5 ppg, 2.3 apg
SG — James Harden, 23.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg
SF — Chandler Parson, 17.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg
PF — Terrence Jones, 10.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg
C — Dwight Howard, 16.7 ppg, 12.4 rpg
On the Jazz: Coming off a 112-104 win in Phoenix, the team's first road win of the year. … The team is 2-2 since rookie point guard Trey Burke was inserted into the starting lineup. … Leading scorer Gordon Hayward's shot is still struggling. He's shooting just 38.3 percent on the year.
On the Rockets: Fresh off a big road win over the San Antonio Spurs. … The league's second best shooting team (48.9 percent). … Dwight Howard is only shooting 54 percent from the line, but Hack-a-Howard isn't always effective. The center made seven of his 10 attempts against the Jazz last time.
The spread: Rockets favorited by as much as 8 on some books.
HOT: Point guard Trey Burke might not be shooting the ball as well as he wants, but the rookie has come up with big shots late in wins over Chicago and Phoenix.
NOT: Gordon Hayward scored 13 points against the Suns, but he only hit three of his 11 shots from the field.
— Aaron Falk
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