NBA Game Summary - Utah at Houston
(Sunday, January 27th)
Final Score: Utah 97, Houston 89
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Kyle Korver scored 17 points in 23 minutes off the bench -- sinking 3-of-5 three-pointers -- and the Utah Jazz downed the shorthanded Houston Rockets, 97-89.
Houston played without All-Star center Yao Ming, who sat out with an upper- respiratory infection. He is listed as day-to-day. Yao leads the Rockets in points (22.1) and rebounds (10.7) per game this season.
"He's (Yao) sick. That should not have changed the way other people play, I do not believe," said Rockets head coach Rick Adelman. "It definitely hurt us not having a whole lot going on inside. We didn't attack like we normally do, we didn't put pressure on them around the basket."
Deron Williams had 17 points and 12 assists, and Andrei Kirilenko also scored 17 points for the Jazz, who have won four straight and eight of nine. Carlos Boozer scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Jazz.
Tracy McGrady scored 21 points and had nine assists for Houston, which saw its four-game win streak come to an end. Luis Scola scored 18 points and grabbed six boards, and Shane Battier added 15 points for the Rockets.
Two Scola free throws tied the game at 74-74 with 6:22 remaining, but the Jazz pulled away with a 14-3 run. Kirilenko broke the tie with a dunk and then a layup, and Korver capped the stretch with consecutive three-pointers, the second giving Utah a commanding 88-77 lead with 2:44 remaining. The Rockets were unable to get within striking distance the rest of the way.
"Korver, he spread the floor out," said Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan. "People know he can shoot the ball, and they have to guard him a lot more than in the post. That gives some of our other people a chance, and it's been pretty good for us."
The Jazz led 19-16 after one quarter of play. Korver nailed back-to-back jumpers midway through the second quarter, the second putting Utah ahead 31-26 with 6:34 remaining. Utah led 41-35 at the half.
Steve Novak provided a spark off the bench for the Rockets late in the third quarter, scoring eight straight points to put Houston on top. His jumper cut the Utah lead to 56-53 with 2:26 remaining, and then he drilled consecutive threes, the second giving the Rockets a 59-56 lead with 40 seconds left in the quarter.
Ronnie Price scored two baskets in the last 40 seconds, however, and the Jazz edged in front 60-59 heading into the fourth quarter.
The game was a rematch of one of the more exciting first-round matchups in the 2007 playoffs, which Utah won in seven games...Novak finished with 10 points, going 4-for-4 from the field and 2-for-2 from the three-point line...Matt Harpring added 10 points off the bench for the Jazz.
01/27 22:39:32 ET