Jazz out of tune

Rockets’ James Harden dropped 25 points on Utah Jazz last night.
Rockets’ James Harden dropped 25 points on Utah Jazz last night.

SALT LAKE CITY – The Houston Rockets stormed to a 125-80 victory over Utah Jazz last night handing them the most-lopsided home loss in franchise history.

“We could have had Michael Jordan in his prime with us tonight and it wouldn’t have mattered (the way we played),” Jazz center Al Jefferson lamented.

“It was like everything went wrong. They came ready to play. I don’t know where our energy was.”

The Rockets, after recently suffering through a seven-game slide, are out of that funk. They have now won three straight and four of their last five.

James Harden continued to do most of the damage, scoring 25 points despite sitting the entire fourth quarter with the rest of the Rockets starters.

Harden, selected as an All-Star for the first time recently, has averaged 27.2 points in his last five games.

When he wasn’t driving the lane, the Rockets were pouring in 3-pointers.

They hit 16 of 34 on the night to tie their season high for shots made beyond the arc.

But it was their pace that floored the Jazz, outscoring Utah 26-2 on the break.

“That’s how we play,” Harden said. “If you watch Rockets basketball, you know we get out in transition and we get some stops. We just try to do a good job of that for 48 minutes.”

The Rockets held Utah to 39.5 per cent shooting, and the Jazz made just 5 of 18 3-pointers.

Carlos Delfino and Marcus Morris each hit four 3-pointers alone for Houston and Omer Asik tied a career high with 19 rebounds.

Every Rockets player scored, including six in double figures, with Morris adding 16 and Delfino 14.

Houston led by 21 points in the second, by 35 in the third and kept pouring it on in the fourth.

The Rockets closed the third with three straight 3s – two by Morris and one by Harden – then saw Morris drain another 3 to open the fourth.

By then the fans were already booing and heading for the exits.

“We should have been booing ourselves,” said Jefferson, who had 10 points on 5-of-13 shooting.

Randy Foye led Utah with 12 points.

Other scores last night were: Warriors 114, Raptors 102; Grizzlies 103, 76ers 100; Kings 96, Wizards 94; Magic 77, Nets 97; Bobcats 85, Bulls 93; Pacers 101, Nuggets 102.

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