Utah Jazz vs Houston Rockets reactions: Jazz fall victim to Harden’s career night

HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 5: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets goes to the basket against the Utah Jazz on November 5, 2017 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 5: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets goes to the basket against the Utah Jazz on November 5, 2017 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Utah Jazz fell victim to James Harden’s career-high 56 points and remain winless on the road after falling 137-110 to the Houston Rockets.


Utah finished the game with more free throws than Houston.

The Jazz had a 36-point quarter and finished the game with 110 points.

Seven Jazz players finished with 10-plus points.

Utah finished with seven fewer turnovers than Houston.

Derrick Favors hit two 3-point shots. Yes, you read that right.

If you would have told me those statistics before Sunday’s game started I probably would have guaranteed the Jazz getting their first win away from Salt Lake City, however, there is only one stat that truly matters…

The Jazz lost by 27.

So what happened?

First of all, hats off to James Harden.

That was truly a great offensive performance. Harden finished the night with 56 points on 19-of-25 shooting and 7-of-8 from beyond the arc. Per the norm, Harden also went 11-of-12 from the free throw line against the Jazz.

Harden’s offensive barrage nearly made it into the history books…

What may be equally impressive about Harden’s night was his ability penetrate, draw defenders, and find an open teammate to get involved in Houston’s 3-point shooting clinic. Harden finished the game with 13 assists.

Also, Harden checked out of the game with 7:30 remaining in the game.

Related Story: The historical perspective on James Harden's epic night

Utah opened the game with a 10-2 run, however, the Jazz defensive success was short lives. The Rockets quickly responded with a 13-0 run of their own and never seemed to look back. Houston shot 67 percent from the field including 9-of-13 from downtown en route to taking a commanding 39-28 lead to end the first quarter.

Harden had 22 of his own in the quarter and shot a perfect 8-of-8 in the period.

Donovan Mitchell had a strong first quarter, scoring eight of his 17 total points in the period. Mitchell continues to exude confidence beyond his years and looks like Utah’s most reliable shot creator.

The final stats may be inflated due to extended garbage time minutes for both teams’ bench units, the Jazz offense was not the problem in this one.

Utah came out strong on both ends, however, the Rocket’s unbelievable early shooting seemed to demoralize the Jazz defense. Utah wasn’t able to make adjustments to slow down the Rockets and by halftime, the game seemed as good as over.

There was a point in the third quarter that James Harden and Eric Gordon missed consecutive shots and I briefly caught myself thinking that Houston was cold. TWO SHOTS. That was just the kind of night that this was.

It would have been hard to anyone to beat the Rockets on a night like this. It wasn’t that the Jazz lost, it was the way they lost that was disappointing. Utah has given us more than enough proof that they are an elite defensive team, but their road defense has left a lot to be desired. This team isn’t even competing on the road right now.

All jokes aside, Coach Quin Snyder and his staff need to get this figured out ASAP.

Biggest takeaway

My biggest takeaway from this game is Utah’s lack of a true No. 1 scoring option. The Jazz are consistently losing because they simply don’t have the best player on the court. Hard work, ball movement and depth can only get you so far when a truly all-time great player decides to take over a game offensively.

The Jazz have now witnessed this first-hand in three straight games. Utah did just enough to get an overtime win against Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers, however, DeMar DeRozan and James Harden have both gotten the best of the Jazz with monster scoring nights.

Utah simply does not have this luxury offensively. It is becoming more and more evident that Rodney Hood is far more suited to a secondary scoring role.

Jazz fans, don’t overreact… yet.

My Twitter feed seemed to be nothing but demands for an immediate trade to be made after tonight’s game. Tonight was rough, but I don’t believe this is the true identity of this Jazz team. Remember, we are still just ten games into the season and the Jazz have their next four games at home.

Also, don’t be so quick to forget how cool we are going to look later this year..

Only kidding. Really though, I think these are starting to grow on me.

Silver lining?

Whats next for the Jazz?

Utah will return home on Tuesday to take on a young and rested Philadelphia 76ers team riding a four-game winning streak.

Next: Utah Jazz draftee Nigel Williams-Goss is straight killin’ it in Europe

This game won’t be easy for the 5-5 Jazz, but it should be just what they need to get back on track after a two-game skid.

Follow me on Twitter @TylerDThorpe for more Jazz insights and analysis.