Utah Jazz defeats Houston Rockets in first overtime game of season
HOUSTON — The Utah Jazz beat the Houston Rockets in overtime 132-127 on Wednesday and will ride a three-game winning streak in the third of a five-game road trip when they face the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.
- Did the Jazz put on the absolute best effort they could on Wednesday? No. Could they have fought a little harder against the worst team in the Western Conference so as not to have to go into overtime and exert even more energy just to get the win? Yeah, they totally could have. But, in the end, the Jazz beat the Rockets. All the players will probably say all the right things after the game and they’ll say they shouldn’t have lost an 18 point lead and let the game come closer, and there’s plenty of reason to agree with this position.
But here’s what I think happened (which you may disagree with): I think it’s hard to get up for each of the 82 games and the Jazz have been feeling really good lately, so it’s easy to understand that they feel a little relaxed as they enter a game against the Rockets. And I understand that a lot of people will say that Donovan Mitchell just said the other day that the Jazz can’t let go against teams like the Rockets, but saying that and feeling compelled to play their best and do that against a team with only 15 wins on the season are two totally different things. I think the Jazz got up 18 against Houston and they were able to do that pretty easily and so they got bored and kinda lazy. I don’t know if the Jazz have learned their lesson about relaxing against better teams. Time will tell us.
What’s important here is that the Jazz got their backs to the wall with sloppy play and poor execution, and then they were able to pull themselves together and get the win. It’s the Rockets, so I’ll give the Jazz the benefit of the doubt here. You won, you continue.
“I’m a harsh critic, but you have to give us credit – we fought and competed late. Not every game is going to be a blowout. We blew them up in Utah and they have pride and guys that can score and they showed it. Along the same lines, we can do better. I think we all agree on that. —Donovan Mitchell
- They don’t call Mike Conley “Captain Clutch” for no reason. He came in huge for the Jazz in the pressure minutes and hit multiple 3-pointers and it all came after he didn’t shoot the ball well for most of the night. I actually think the Jazz have a good chance in clutch situations with Bojan Bogdanovic and Mike Conley on the court.
“I don’t think he’s having a bad night. Watching him shoot, I think it fits. That’s how his teammates feel too. — Head Jazz Coach Quin Snyder
- Donovan Mitchell scored 37 points to go along with 10 assists, three steals and two rebounds. He was a big reason the Jazz got that 18-point lead and he was pretty fantastic for much of the game, again.
- I think the Jazz really could have tried to exploit the Rockets’ weaknesses more than they did. While this Rockets team has a lot of young, raw talent, they aren’t good yet and they’re prone to bad habits if a team hits them where it hurts. I think the Jazz did a good job drawing fouls, eventually getting a foul on Alperen Sengun, but they didn’t try to get the Rockets off the 3-point line as much as they could or force reversals. , driving the Rockets out of control.
- The Jazz led by three points with 8.3 seconds left in regulation. The Rockets had possession but were out of timeouts. The Jazz must foul there. Jazz head coach Quin Snyder and every player reporters spoke to after the game said they were supposed to foul and they didn’t. It was a huge mistake.