Jazz beat Rock­ets to keep hot streak go­ing

Daily Observer (Jamaica) - - SPORT -

LOS AN­GE­LES, United States (AFP) — Re­serve Derrick Fa­vors fin­ished with 24 points and 10 re­bounds as the Utah Jazz de­liv­ered an­other shoot­ing night to re­mem­ber with a 118-91 vic­tory over the Hous­ton Rock­ets on Thurs­day.

Joe In­gles chipped in 18 points and, like Fa­vors, Dante Exum came off the bench to score 15, as five play­ers reached dou­ble fig­ures prov­ing once again that Utah’s un­selfish of­fence is the defin­ing as­pect of their re­cent win­ning streak.

Two nights ago, the Jazz had seven play­ers in dou­ble fig­ures in a win over San An­to­nio. They are a much dif­fer­ent team than the group that strug­gled through a shoot­ing slump for much of Novem­ber.

Utah won for the fourth time in five con­tests and did it without star cen­tre Rudy Gobert, who was ejected by the of­fi­cials less than three min­utes into the game.

Gobert picked up his first foul on the open­ing tip. Af­ter col­lect­ing his sec­ond foul at 9:13 of the first quar­ter, Gobert got tossed when he got frus­trated and swat­ted at some items, in­clud­ing a pa­per cup, which were sit­ting on the scorer’s ta­ble.

Gobert was slapped with a US$15,000 fine from league dis­ci­plinary of­fi­cials ear­lier in the week for crit­i­cis­ing the of­fi­cials fol­low­ing Utah’s 102-100 loss to Mi­ami on Sun­day.

Ref­eree Tom Wash­ing­ton said Gobert grabbed

Clint Capela’s arm on the open­ing tip-off. And then he was ejected for los­ing his tem­per.

“He was coming off the floor and he force­fully swung at items on the scorer’s ta­ble and those three items came out onto the floor. It was just too demon­stra­tive and we had to take ac­tion,” said Wash­ing­ton.

James Harden scored 15 points while Chris Paul and Capela added 12 apiece for the vis­it­ing Rock­ets, who al­lowed an op­po­nent to pull away in the sec­ond half for a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive game.

Hous­ton haven’t had trou­ble gen­er­at­ing of­fence lately but they have strug­gled might­ily on de­fence. On Thurs­day they com­mit­ted a sea­son-high 22 turnovers and sur­ren­dered up a sea­son-high 33 points off those mis­takes.

De­spite the loss of Gobert, Utah were able to kick their of­fence into high gear by go­ing on an 11-0 spurt to build a 27-16 lead in the first quar­ter.

The Jazz led by as many as 15 points in the sec­ond quar­ter, be­fore Hous­ton cut it to 53-45 with two sec­onds left be­fore half-time.

But in the third quar­ter, the Jazz re­grouped and ran away with the game.

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