SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The NBA-leading Jazz just played a tough game against Denver the night before, so it was understandable if they were a little sluggish against the Houston Rockets on Monday.
Six Jazz players scored in double figures, led by Georges Niang, who tied a career high with 24 points, as Utah won its fifth straight games, 124-116.
Utah is the first NBA team to reach 50 victories, and now leads Phoenix by a game and a half for the top seed in the Western Conference with four games remaining.
The Jazz finished with 28 assists against Houston, led by Joe Ingles with seven to go along with 14 points.
Jordan Clarkson came in off the bench and poured in 21 points, while Bojan Bogdanovic followed up his 48-point performance last night with 20 in the victory over the Rockets.
“I know he’s gonna be at the right spot at the right time,” said Utah wing Joe Ingles. “If I get in the lane and I key to the corner, he’s going to be somewhere in that area and he will definitely shoot it so it’s a good look for us, when he’s out there playing like that with confidence.”
It was Bogdanovic’s seventh straight 20-point performance.
Rudy Gobert put up 13 points and 14 rebounds against the undersized Rockets defense.
Utah pounded the paint, outscoring Houston 56-46 in points in the paint.
Utah improved their record in back to backs to 12-2 on the year.
“We just had to really fight through mentally. And just keep pushing that’s how we stuck out this win,” said Clarkson. “But I ain’t going to lie to you: This season has been grueling and tiring, but it is what it is and we came here to work.”
The victory over the Rockets gave Utah their fifth straight win, sweeping their homestand despite missing stars Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell.
Khyri Thomas and KJ Martin both put up career-high 27 points for the Rockets in the loss to the Jazz.
Utah shot the ball well, shooting 52.9 percent from the floor and 39.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Houston lead by seven points early in the second quarter, but the Jazz outscored the Rockets 31 to 18 to go into halftime with the 66-60 lead.
Utah took the game over in the second half, leading by as many as 22 points in the fourth quarter, before Houston went on a run to cut their deficit to eight points.
The Jazz will hit the road to take on the Golden State Warriors Monday, March 10th in Oakland.