(Sports Network) - The Houston Rockets will try to get back on track when they
host the Utah Jazz Friday night at the Toyota Center.
The Rockets have fallen on hard times recently in learning of the death of
head coach Kevin McHale's daughter following a bout with lupus. They couldn't
keep their three-game winning streak intact and dropped a 120-98 decision at
Oklahoma City on Wednesday.
Former Thunder standout reserve James Harden faced his former team since being
traded to the Rockets earlier this season and registered 17 points. Patrick
Paterson led the way with 27 points on 11-of-18 shooting and Omer Asik posted
17 and 12 rebounds for the Rockets, who committed 16 turnovers and made 41.4
percent from the field.
"It felt good just to be competing against those guys and finally get this
over with, to play here and get it over with," Harden said of facing OKC.
Harden missed his first nine shots and made just 3-of-16 from the field.
Daequan Cook came over with Harden from Oklahoma City and scored 18 points
against his former team.
Rockets starting forward Chandler Parsons missed the contest due to a shoulder
injury and is questionable Saturday. As is guard Carlos Delfino (groin).
Houston will play two straight and six of seven games at home and is 5-3 in
Space City this season. The Rockets are unbeaten in four straight as the host,
but sport a paltry 1-7 record in conference action.
Meanwhile, the Jazz will close out a three-game road trip Saturday and had won
two straight and five of six games until dropping a 106-94 decision Friday
night against the Thunder.
Enes Kanter scored a team-high 18 points and pulled down seven boards, while
Al Jefferson added 16 points and 11 boards for the Jazz, whose 19 turnovers
were converted into 25 Oklahoma City points. Utah almost erased an 18-point
deficit and pulled within five in the fourth quarter.
"I thought our guys showed a lot of character and continued to fight and try
to get back in the game, but Westbrook had a couple of key steals against us
and that kept us from getting back in the game," Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin
Paul Millsap, Mo Williams and Gordon Hayward had 13 points apiece in defeat.
The Jazz, who are 6-0 at home, are only 3-8 away from Salt Lake City and will
begin a three-game homestand Monday versus the Clippers, Magic and Raptors.
Utah recently defeated Houston 102-91 on Nov. 19 at home and received 15
points from Hayward and 14 points and 16 boards out of Jefferson. Patterson
led the Rockets in that one with 19 points and Harden netted only six.
The Jazz have beaten the Rockets three straight times.
The Sports Network