NBA Game Summary - Houston at Utah
(Monday, April 14th)
Final Score: Utah 105, Houston 96
Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) - Carlos Boozer recorded yet another double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds as the Utah Jazz upended the Houston Rockets, 105-96, in a possible preview of a first round playoff series.
Deron Williams battled a tail bone injury to record 17 points and nine assists for Utah, which holds the fourth spot in the Western Conference with its already secured Northwest Division title. Ronnie Brewer scored 12 points - all in the third quarter - and Mehmet Okur finished with 12 points and 13 caroms as the Jazz won for the sixth time in seven games.
Houston, now tied with Phoenix for the fifth-seed in the West, received 22 points apiece from Luis Scola and Tracy McGrady. Scola also threw in 13 rebounds, while Bobby Jackson netted 19 points.
Houston held its own in the opening quarter and led 22-21 before Utah's game- altering second period. Utah's defense held their conference foe without a field goal for a near six-minute stretch in the frame.
"It was a tough game," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. " We had a bad second quarter, and it really cost us. We battled in the second half, but we could never get back all the way. They got a lot of loose balls, second rebounds and kept us away. I told the team, we're a lot better than we were last night, but we're better than this. We've got to get ready to go this weekend."
Okur capped twelve-straight Jazz points with a three-pointer to push ahead, 54-39, late in the half. Carl Landry ended Houston's long drought with a jumper, but the squad still trailed 56-41 at halftime.
Brewer displayed his talents with a plethora of baskets in the third. The second-year player hit from the outside, on a reverse layup and several dunks to help maintain the Jazz lead. Houston connected on 12 free throws in the quarter to stay within striking distance at 84-67 heading to the final 12 minutes.
"They were playing aggressive on us so we tried to step it and play aggressive on the defensive end," Brewer said of the third quarter. "Unfortunately they (officials) were blowing the whistle and they got to the free-throw line a little bit. We had to keep our composure, and I just tried to move without the ball, cutting (to the basket). We tried to defend, and then I got easy baskets from D-will and other guys."
The Rockets cut the lead to single digits late in the game, but another field goal drought, this time for four minutes midway through the period, hindered their efforts. Jackson sunk a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 97-90 with just over a minute to play.
A McGrady attempt from behind the arc could have made it a two-possession game, but the shot was off the mark and the Utah faithful went home happy.
Houston hit 30-of-36 from the stripe, while Utah connected on 28-of-38.
Houston finished 24-17 on the road. while the Jazz ended their league-best home record at 37-4...The Jazz defeated Houston in the first round of last year's postseason...The Jazz owned a 50-38 edge on the glass...Utah's Matt Harpring and Kyle Korver tallied 11 and 10 points, respectively...Shane Battier tallied 10 points for the Rockets...On Wednesday, Houston hosts the Clippers and Utah heads to San Antonio for the respective regular season finale for both clubs.
04/15 01:26:54 ET