SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Not even the Utah Jazz golden uniforms could slow down the red hot Rockets.
Houston blew the game open with a 37-point third quarter, as the Rockets led by as many as 25 points and held off the Utah Jazz, 112-101.
James Harden scored 29 points and Ryan Anderson added 23 to lead the Rockets.
Chris Paul just missed a triple-double with 18 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds. Houston (19-4) won its eighth straight game and for the 14th time in 15. The Rockets improved to 8-0 with Paul in the lineup.
Donovan Mitchell had 26 points, Alec Burks added 17 and Thabo Sefolosha chipped in 14 to lead the Jazz. Utah (13-13) dropped its second straight game.
Utah’s defense held the Rockets to 46 percent shooting, but Houston still made 18 three-pointers and led for most of the game.
Houston surged in front after Rudy Gobert committed back-to-back turnovers less than 2 minutes into the first quarter. Utah rallied twice to take the lead, but both runs were answered with bigger ones from the Rockets.
The Jazz went ahead 16-15 after back-to-back baskets from Joe Ingles and Sefolosha keyed a 6-0 run. Anderson cut to the basket for a dunk to kickstart a 7-0 run the other way and capped it off with a putback layup.
Utah ripped off an 11-2 run midway through the second quarter. Sefolosha bookended the spurt with a step-back jumper and go-ahead 3-pointer that gave the Jazz a 36-34 lead.
Trevor Ariza turned steals into baskets on back-to-back possessions to ignite a 10-0 run that put Houston back in front. The Rockets took a 44-36 lead and carried that momentum into the third quarter.
Houston used a 13-2 run early in the second half to pull away from the Jazz. Clint Capela got it going with a three-point play and finished it off with a dunk to give the Rockets a 74-53 lead with 7:00 left in the third quarter.
Houston led by as many as 25 points after Ariza buried a 3-pointer to put the Rockets up 91-66 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter.
The Jazz next play at Milwaukee Saturday.