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3 keys in the Utah Jazz’s 131-114 win over the Houston Rockets

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Utah Jazz’s Lauri Markkanen (23) goes up for a shot as Houston Rockets’ Alperen Sengun (28) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Houston. Utah won (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Utah Jazz’s Lauri Markkanen (23) goes up for a shot as Houston Rockets’ Alperen Sengun (28) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Houston. Utah won (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

AP

The Utah Jazz beat the Houston Rockets 131-114 on Thursday night, snapping the team’s five-game losing streak.

In the first of a three-game road trip, the Jazz improved to 20-21 at the halfway point of the season as Lauri Markkanen scored a career-high 49 points.

Here are three keys that contributed to the Jazz’s victory:

  • Markkanen scored 18 points in the first quarter (a career-high for points in a quarter) and finished the night with a career-best 49, which included going 13-of-13 from the free throw line. Markkanen also finished with eight rebounds and a block in the win.
  • The Jazz bench helped to propel the team in its search for a way to snap its losing streak, and it started with Malik Beasley, who scored 14 of his 19 points in the second quarter. The Jazz bench outscored the Rockets bench, 47-26.
  • The Jazz have had quite a few games recently in which they’ve struggled from beyond the arc, but on Thursday night they found their shooting rhythm hitting, 39.6% from 3-point range. They also made good on 20 of their 21 free throw attempts.