The Jazz are 8-1 when scoring 110 points or more this season.
That one — yikes.
The 137-110 beatdown the Houston Rockets (18-4) laid on the Jazz (13-12) last month is still Utah’s biggest loss of the season. James Harden scored 56 points and the Rockets piled up 23 threes while breaking away for good with a 48-point third quarter.
Looking back on it Thursday morning, center Rudy Gobert said the Jazz’s biggest problem was that they lost focus on their defense after the first half. Early in the game, Utah forced Houston into tough shots. Later on, it was a runaway victory.
“They didn’t score at the rim — it was all late-clock threes or shots that were contested, then in the second half they started breaking us down,” he said. “I think tonight is just about us. Don’t let them get going. Get physical. Play our game.”
Rockets at Jazz
When • Thursday, 8:30 p.m.
TV • TNT
The Rockets are arguably the best team in basketball a quarter of the way through the season with Harden leading the NBA in scoring (31.7 ppg) and coming in second in assists (9.7 apg). Since point guard and summer acquisition Chris Paul has returned, the Rockets have beaten seven straight opponents by an average of 21.6 points.
The second-best team in the NBA over that same stretch has been the Jazz: Before their Tuesday night loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, they had won six straight. Utah also has not lost at home since Nov. 13, winning five straight at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Coach Quin Snyder called it “a tall order” to try to beat the Rockets on the TNT-televised game Thursday night, but hoped it could help his own team grow and keep playing the way they’ve played lately.
“They’ve been terrific obviously,” Snyder said. “Part of us trying to get better is playing teams that are really, really good.”
In the injury report, Rodney Hood is scheduled to miss his sixth straight game with ankle soreness, while Raul Neto is probable to play with foot soreness. Houston’s last injury report listed Ryan Anderson as probable with back tightness, and Nene as questionable with an eye injury.