Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Utah Jazz's Ian Clark, right, knocks the ball away from Houston Rockets's Patrick Beverley in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 17, 2014, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Utah Jazz: Rockets trounce Jazz 124-86
NBA » Rockets build 41-point lead in win over defenseless Jazz.
First Published Mar 17 2014 06:14 pm • Last Updated Mar 18 2014 09:38 am

Houston • Rockets rookie Isaiah Canaan was dribbling out the final possession of a blowout Monday, the seconds on the clock ticking down to the end of another embarrassing loss for the Utah Jazz, when John Lucas III had had enough.

The game had been decided long before Lucas checked in late in the third quarter, but Houston had kept firing, pushing its lead to as much as 41 late in the fourth. So with Canaan’s back turned, Lucas poked the ball away and dribbled it over the half-court line and toward the Jazz bench.

At a glance

Storylines Rockets 124, Jazz 86

The Jazz lose for the 10th time in 11 games.

» The 38-point loss was the Jazz’s worst on the year. Previously, the largest margin of defeat came in Atlanta on Dec. 20, when the Hawks beat the Jazz by 33.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"I play to the end," Lucas said. "We’re already getting beat real bad and they still want to be showing off and doing stuff like that, so I stole the ball."

As time expired, bringing a merciful end to a 124-86 Houston win, Rockets swingman Francisco Garcia elbowed Lucas and the Jazz guard, upset by what he called a "cheap shot," shoved Garcia back and then squared up with fists. No punches were thrown.

For Lucas, who has all but fallen out of the rotation for the 22-46 Jazz, it was part of a release of a season’s worth of frustrations.

"I hate losing. I hate it with a passion," he said. "I just feel like built-up frustration —  maybe for the whole year — it just triggered something and it triggered me to do what I had to do."

After the game, Jazz coach Ty Corbin said he wished Lucas had not stolen the ball, before adding, "But, you know what, the clock was still running. You’ve got a right to play."

Troubling from a basketball perspective was this: Lucas’ steal represented one of the few moments of defense on the night for a free-falling Jazz team that has now lost 10 of its last 11 games.

The story of the Jazz’s defensive shortcomings was on display early and written in the first-half box score. Over the first two quarters at the Toyota Center, the Rockets took 12 shots from the free-throw line and 12 shots from beyond the arc. From 3-point, Houston hit on seven of those attempts.

From the free-throw line, without a defender to put a hand in their faces, the Rockets hit the same.


story continues below
story continues below

"We were awful," rookie point guard Trey Burke said.

A night after Utah let the San Antonio Spurs shoot a season-best 63 percent, the Rockets hit on 58.2 percent of their attempts, including 13 of 25 from 3-point territory.

Even with All-Star center Dwight Howard sitting out the game with a mild ankle strain, the Jazz were overmatched. Terrence Jones scored 13 of his 30 points in the third quarter. Point guard Patrick Beverley had 19 points and seven rebounds. Jeremy Lin scored 17 points and dished nine assists.

Utah’s rotations were slow.

Man-to-man defense offered little resistance.

"We gave up everything," Corbin said. "We gave up points in the paint, transition baskets, 3-pointers. We didn’t do a good job of taking any one thing away from them tonight."

Jazz forward Derrick Favors and guard Alec Burks each scored 15 points in the loss, but offense was not what the 6-foot-10 Favors had on his mind after the game.

"We’re going to have to come together as a team and we have to go out there and get stops," he said. "Don’t worry about offense, none of that. We just have to go out there and get stops because that was embarrassing."

With a game against a Memphis team fighting for playoff position next on the schedule, Corbin said he wants Monday’s defeat to be a lesson in preparation.

"We acted like we were a little tired," Corbin said. "We’ve talked about guys learning their way through this time of year, back-to-back games. And they showed their experience and we showed our inexperience. This is a lesson for the young guys. You have to learn how to get yourself ready every night at different stages of the year. Tonight we just couldn’t get it going. It was like we were running in mud. We couldn’t get ourselves out of it."

In the locker room after, Lucas said he had cooled down and called his decision to steal the ball "messed up."

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.