Gordon Hayward’s 15 points lead Jazz past Rockets

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Salt Lake City, UT, United States (4E Sports) – Shooting guard Gordon Hayward tallied 15 points while Al Jefferson and Randy Foye added 14 points apiece as the Utah Jazz kept their home record perfect with a 102-91 win over the Houston Rockets Monday at EnergySolutions Arena.

Jefferson also had 16 rebounds, power forward Marvin Williams contributed 12 and Paul Millsap had 10 for the Jazz (6-6) , who notched their fourth home win in as many games.

Patrick Patterson scored a season-high 19 points while Jeremy Lin contributed 13 for the Rockets (4-7), who lost their third straight.

Houston’s leading scorer James Harden was bothered by fever and upper-respiratory infection, scoring just six points, all from the foul line, in 17 minutes of play, before leaving at the break.

Without its leading scorer, Houston did not have a chance against Utah’s balanced attack. The Jazz grabbed a 59-39 advantage in the second quarter before closing the half with a 61-44 lead.

The Rockets closed the gap at 70-60 behind Lin’s lay-up but Utah answered with a 5-0 blast with Foye’s fourth three-point shot and two fouls shots by Jefferson to regain a 15-point lead.

Houston launched a 6-0 run to trim the gap anew at 75-66 but a 10-4 attack by the Jazz, capped by a three-point play by Hayward, gave them a 75-60 cushion.

A lay-up by Derrick Favors and a three-pointer by Hayward sparked a 9-2 run by the Jazz to open the final period, extending their lead to 94-72, with seven minutes left to play.

The Jazz shot 40.2 percent from the field and buried nine of 21 shots from beyond the arc, for 42.9 percent. The Rockets, for their part, shot an anemic 34.9 percent.

Utah’s taller frontline outrebounded its Houston’s counterpart, 55-49, and had more blocks, 11-9.

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