SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Even without Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gay and Hassan Whiteside, one would think the Utah Jazz would still have enough to beat the last place team in the Western Conference, the Houston Rockets.

But not the way the Jazz are playing defense these days.

Garrison Mathews scored 23 points, including five 3-pointers, to send the Houston Rockets to a surprising 116-111 victory over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.

The Rockets (14-32) made 22 of 45 from 3-point range, as the Jazz (29-16) lost for the sixth time in their last seven games, despite leading by 13 points midway through the third quarter.

“There’s a pattern of our group losing focus on things we need to do to win the game,” said Jazz head coach Quin Snyder. “We just had multiple breakdowns over the course of the game in different capacities defensively.”

Jae’sean Tate chipped in with 18 points and Eric Gordon scored 16 for the Rockets. Kevin Porter Jr. had 15 points and eight assists, while Christian Wood added 13 points and 16 rebounds.

“When we focus on what’s important, for every single person in this locker room, it should be defense,” Gobert said. “There were some times I didn’t have my teammates’ backs.”

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 29 points to lead Utah. Rudy Gobert had 23 points and nine rebounds. Jordan Clarkson finished with 19 points and Mike Conley added 17.

The Jazz lost their third straight home game and are 1-6 in their last seven overall despite outscoring Houston 62-36 in the paint.

“We’re not going to just walk in and win any game by showing up,” said Joe Ingles, who had 10 points and six assists. “In a couple games in this patch we haven’t shot well, and obviously that’s even more of a reason to lock in defensively and not getting down or frustrated.”

Utah trailed the entire fourth quarter but pulled to 111-109 on a pair of free throws from Bogdanovic with 42.4 seconds left. Porter answered with a 3 on the other end to seal a comeback win for Houston.

Houston went 7 of 12 from 3-point range during the first quarter to carve out a 36-27 lead. Mathews hit back-to-back 3s and drained three free throws to bookend a 13-7 run that put the Rockets up nine.

Clarkson scored three baskets and made a pair of free throws to spark an 18-5 run that gave Utah a 55-51 lead late in the second quarter. The Jazz grabbed the lead on back-to-back baskets from Bogdanovic and Royce O’Neale.

Utah totaled 35 points in the second quarter while shooting 14 of 22 from the field.

The Jazz led by 13 in the third before Houston erased the deficit with a 18-1 spurt. Armoni Brooks punctuated the run with three 3-pointers over four possessions, giving the Rockets an 80-76 lead.

Mitchell, the Jazz leading scorer, missed the game with a concussion, while Rudy Gay (heel) and Hassan Whiteside (Covid) were also out.

The Jazz next host the Detroit Pistons on Friday.