HOUSTON — The Utah Jazz beat the Houston Rockets in overtime 132-127 on Wednesday and will take a three-game win streak into the third of a five-game road trip when they face the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.

High notes

  • Did the Jazz give the absolute best effort they could on Wednesday? No. Could they have put up a little bit more of a fight against the worst team in the Western Conference so that they didn’t have to go into overtime and exert even more energy just to get the win? Yeah, they absolutely could have. But, in the end, the Jazz beat the Rockets. All of the players will probably say all the right things after the game and they’ll say that they shouldn’t have lost an 18-point lead and let the game get close, and there are many reasons to agree with that stance.

But here’s what I think happened (which you are welcome to disagree with): I think it’s hard to get up for every single one of 82 games and that the Jazz have been feeling really good lately, so it’s easy to understand them feeling a little relaxed as they went into a game against the Rockets. And I understand that a lot of people will say that Donovan Mitchell just said the other day that the Jazz can’t let up against teams like the Rockets, but saying that and actually feeling like you have to play your hardest and doing it against a team with just 15 wins on the season are two totally different things. I think that the Jazz got up 18 against Houston and they were able to do it pretty easily and so they got bored and a little lazy. I don’t know if the Jazz have learned their lesson about relaxing against better teams. Time will tell.

What’s important here is that the Jazz found themselves with their backs against the wall because of some sloppy play and poor execution and then they were able to get their act together and get the win. It’s the Rockets, so I’m going to give the Jazz the benefit of the doubt here. You got the win, you move on.

“I’m a tough critic, but you’ve got to give us credit — we fought and competed late. Not every game is going to be a blowout. We blew them out in Utah and they’ve got pride and guys who can score and they showed that. On the same token, we can do better. I think we all agree on that.” — Donovan Mitchell

  • They don’t call Mike Conley “Captain Clutch” for no reason. He came up huge for the Jazz in the pressure minutes and hit multiple 3-pointers and that all came after he was not shooting the ball well for most of the night. I actually think the Jazz have good chances in clutch situations with both Bojan Bogdanovic and Mike Conley on the court.

“I’m not thinking he’s having a bad night. Watching him shoot, I think it’s going in. That’s what his teammates feel as well.” — Jazz head coach Quin Snyder

  • Donovan Mitchell scored 37 points to go with 10 assists, three steals and two rebounds. He was a big reason the Jazz got that 18-point lead and he was pretty fantastic for large parts of the game, again.

Low notes

  • I think that the Jazz really could have tried to exploit the Rockets’ weaknesses more than they did. While this Rockets team has a lot of young and raw talent, they aren’t good yet and they are prone to bad habits if a team kind of hits them where it hurts. I think the Jazz did a good job of drawing fouls, eventually getting Alperen Sengun fouled out of the game, but they didn’t try to run the Rockets off the 3-point line nearly as much as they could have or force them into turnovers, which is something that spirals the Rockets out of control.

Flat notes

  • The Jazz were up by three points with 8.3 seconds left in regulation. The Rockets had possession but didn’t have any timeouts left. The Jazz have to foul there. Jazz head coach Quin Snyder and all of the players that reporters spoke to after the game said that they were supposed to foul and they did not. That was a huge mistake.