The Utah Jazz, the team with the best record in the NBA, beat the team with the league’s worst record, the Houston Rockets, 112-89 on Wednesday.
- The Jazz didn’t leave any room for doubt on Wednesday. They got the lead early against the Rockets and ran away with it, never looking back and getting up by as many as 36.
- All the usual suspects from the Jazz had a good night. Joe Ingles was firing without hesitation as was Jordan Clarkson, and the pair led the team with 43 points. Rudy Gobert and Mike Conley were a plus-44 and plus-46 respectively — which says a lot about them and a lot about the Rockets — while pitching in a combined 30 points.
“I’ve never really been a part of a team like this in my career, so this is a unique situation. I think guys are shooting the ball so well, there’s a lot of space, and with Rudy setting the screens and rolling, I’ve got a lot of options.” — Mike Conley
- Royce O’Neale might have only taken three shots and hit one (a fast break bucket) but he didn’t really need to score in this game and he had 13 rebounds, just one shy of his career high, which he set just a couple weeks ago against the Sacramento Kings.
- Speaking of rebounds, Gobert had 18, which is incredibly impressive but also not really shocking. One thing that really helped Gobert and O’Neale get those boards was the effort of Clarkson. He was boxing out so hard and not just to try to secure the board himself, but to leave the door open for the other guys to get the rebounds without having to fight so hard.
- The Jazz had six guys in double figures and a 20-point lead early in the third quarter.
- Donovan Mitchell, who was watching from home, tweeted during the game and it was delightful. It’s good to see him enjoying the way the Jazz are playing while he’s recovering from an ankle sprain.
“Obviously with Donovan out we’re going to rely on a lot of a lot of different guys — new faces, new roles, offense is going to be running a little differently, defense going to run a lot differently — so we’re just learning that we’re a deep team. We’re able to be resilient through any highs and lows.” — Mike Conley
- The Rockets didn’t really seem to even try to get physical down low with Gobert. Not that they have a lot of personnel that can really compete with Gobert, but there was almost no resistance at all. Gobert took just one trip to the free-throw line through the whole game.
- This game happened. It really didn’t mean anything and it was pretty much a scheduled win. I wish that I could lie to you and say that it was exciting, but it wasn’t. These kinds of games are going to happen against the basement-dwelling teams of the league as the season wears on.
- The officials seemed to feel that last note and they missed so many calls in the second half. Nothing that would have changed the outcome of the game. I bet they’re feeling the schedule and the season fatigue as well. They kind of gave up and I can’t blame them.
- Kelly Olynyk flopping in front of Ingles on the 3-point line and then just flailing for about 20 feet into the paint all by himself, while Ingles stayed out at the arc and hit a wide-open trey, was more comedy than anything, but felt a lot like a snapshot of the Rockets season. Just a sad fall backward while no one is around to see it.
- The Rockets had a 16-point second quarter. That’s it. That’s the note.
- I saw a lot of criticism on social media about the Rockets broadcast crew, and I get it, they aren’t great (a lot of really cringe-worthy stuff). But I do applaud them for trying to keep things light during a season when there is barely anything to be happy about.