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Utah Jazz’s brutal road stretch ends with loss to Houston Rockets
Utah Jazz guard Alec Burks (10) and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Kevin Martin (23) go up for a rebound in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. Oklahoma City won 106-94. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Houston Rockets' James Harden (13) goes to the basket while double-teamed by Utah Jazz Al Jefferson (25) and Paul Millsap (24) in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Houston Rockets' James Harden (13) goes to the basket in front of Utah Jazz's Randy Foye in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Houston Rockets' Jeremy Lin (7) drives the ball past Utah Jazz's Mo Williams (5) in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Utah Jazz's Randy Foye (8) tries to grab the ball from Houston Rockets' James Harden (13) in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Utah Jazz's Gordon Hayward (20) tries to drive the ball past Houston Rockets' Toney Douglas (15) in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Utah Jazz coach Tyron Corbin yells to his players in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Houston Rockets' Chandler Parsons, center, drives between Utah Jazz defenders Gordon Hayward (20) and Jeremy Evans (40) in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Houston Rockets acting coach Kelvin Sampson calls out to his players in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Houston Rockets' Greg Smith, right, knocks the ball away from Utah Jazz's Alec Burks (10) in the second half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Houston. The Rockets won 124-116. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Houston Rockets' Omer Asik (3) is fouled by Utah Jazz's Gordon Hayward who goes to the basket in the second half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Houston. The Rockets won 124-116. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Utah Jazz's Paul Millsap (24) walks off the court at the end of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Houston. The Rockets won 124-116. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Houston Rockets' Jeremy Lin, right, grabs a rebound in front of Utah Jazz's DeMarre Carroll in the second half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Houston. The Rockets won 124-116. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Houston Rockets' Omer Asik (3) looks to pass off the ball under pressure from Utah Jazz's DeMarre Carroll, left, and Al Jefferson (25) in the second half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Houston. The Rockets won 124-116. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Houston Rockets' Carlos Delfino reacts after missing a three-point basket when the ball circled the inside of the rim and fell out against the Utah Jazz in the second half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Houston. The Rockets won 124-116. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Houston Rockets' Greg Smith (4) knocks the ball away from Utah Jazz's Alec Burks (10) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Houston. The Rockets won 124-116. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
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“I thought he kicked it, also,” Corbin said. “The foul was a little premature. We’d have liked to come down at that point and maybe just make him make a play.”

Gordon Hayward carried the Jazz for much of the second half, scoring 11 of his game-high 21 points in the third quarter. The Jazz opened the period on a 13-4 run to tie the game at 62. They scored 37 points in the quarter and took an 86-85 lead into the final 12 minutes.

But once again, as he has been so many times over the past 18 games, Corbin said was left to talk about the lessons learned.

“We have to be able to finish games off,” he said. “I think this experience will prove valuable if we learn our lessons from it.”

In five of the nine losses, the Jazz have either been tied or led in the fourth quarter. At some point, a treacherous piece of scheduling becomes as much about surviving as it does excelling. Five of the Jazz’s next seven games are at home.

If they win all of them, their record will not reflect that of a struggling team, as the mood around the Jazz Saturday night might suggest.

Story continues below

“I felt as though we gave a couple away,” guard Randy Foye said. “At 9-9 I wouldn’t say that I’m satisfied, but I’m pretty happy.”

boram@sltrib.com

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Another Jazz rally falls short, this time against the Houston Rockets.

At a glance

Rockets 124, Jazz 116

The Jazz lose back-to-back games to fall to 9-9.

» Gordon Hayward leads the Jazz with 21 points, while Randy Foye and Al Jefferson each add 20.

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