Lauri Markkanen (49 points!) lets off steam for the Rockets
There’s nothing like a trip to Houston to find the colors! After five furious turnovers, including several in the final shot, the Jazz regained their taste for victory with a 131-114 victory. Even if the Rockets were able to take control in the 3rd quarter, it was a score that didn’t suffer from any controversy (86-85). Except otherwise, Lauri Markkanen decided to use his nerves on Houston’s defense, and the Finn led his team on the right path with 18 points from the 1st quarter.
The Jazz would then take a ten-point lead until the Rockets woke up in the 3rd quarter. Jae’Sean Tate put Houston ahead, but Utah’s response was dazzling: 10-0! Jalen Green, still great and Tate again, the Rockets stick and return to -4 (110-106) five minutes from the end. The Toyota Center dreams of stopping, but like in the 3rd quarter, the Jazz are furious enough to go on a 14-0 run that will completely empty the room. Final score: 131-114 for Utah, which won its first game in 2023.
WHAT TO REMEMBER
Markkanen’s record. Twice this season, the Finn scored a personal best of 38 points. This time he explodes with 49 points. At the end of the game, the Rockets doubled their possession to fall short of 50 points…
Failed start. It’s a Rockets habit, and after nine minutes, Lauri Markkanen scored more points than the entire Rockets combined…Forced turnovers, erratic rebounding and an inability to attack the Jazz zone. Stephen Silas’ young players only think about playing one-on-one and fast, forgetting to defend.
✅ Lauri Markkanen. The Finns had fun with Houston’s defense near and far. He went for 13 free throws, and we’ll remember the final quarter (14 points) when the Rockets had to pull back more than he started the game (18 points).
✅Malik Beasley. Still worth as much as “joke,” especially when the Rockets decide not to defend the 3-point line.
✅ Jae’Sean Tate. The Revenant demonstrates why he is important to this team. He is a “sticky man” and an expert in dirty work.
✅ ⛔ Jalen Green. He’s still as dapper and gorgeous as ever, standing in front of Jordan Clarkson. But there is still a lot of loss in his shots and his defense remains limited.
⛔ Jabari Smith Jr. The No. 3 pick in the draft had a nightmare evening against Markkanen.
Houston (10-29) : Sunday reception of wolves.
Utah (20-21) : a trip to the Bulls on Saturday.