Dec 2, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) attempts to dribble around Utah Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward (20) during the first half at EnergySolutions Arena. The Jazz won 109-103. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Preview: Houston Rockets v.s. Utah Jazz


The 22-45 Utah Jazz come to town to face the 44-20 Houston Rockets. Both teams played yesterday with Houston losing a tough one in Miami and the Jazz losing in San Antonio. The season series is tied at 1-1 after the Rockets (somehow) lost the last one in Salt Lake City. After a brutal 5-game stretch, the Rockets now start an easier 5-game stretch starting tonight with the Jazz. The Rockets need to win all five of these “easy” games and cannot take their foot of the gas. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM and the game can be seen on CSN Houston or heard on SportsTalk790.

 

The Matchups

Point Guard: Patrick Beverley v.s. Trey Burke

Burke is averaging 12.7 ppg and 5.3 apg in 57 games this season. Solid rookie season but needs to improve on his 38.3 field goal percentage.

Edge: Rockets

 

Shooting Guard: James Harden v.s. Gordon Hayward

Hayward dropped 29 points while Harden netted 37 points and dished out 8 assists the last time these teams battled. I expect Parsons to defend the Hayward tonight.

Edge: Rockets

 

Small Forward: Chandler Parsons v.s. Richard Jefferson

Jefferson is surprisingly the only Jazz player to start in all of the team’s 67 games. At 33-years old, hee’s averaging a solid 10.1 ppg.

Edge: Rockets

 

Power Forward: Terrence Jones v.s. Enes Kanter

Jones is averaging just 6.2 ppg in his last five starts and hasn’t seen more than 25 minutes a game in those contests.

UPDATE: Marvin Williams to start.

Edge: Even

 

Center: Dwight Howard v.s. Derrick Favors

Favors held Howard to just a 15/9 line while finishing with a 14/13 line tonight. He’s a good young player but he’ll have his hands full tonight.

UPDATE: Howard out with mild ankle sprain. Asik likely to start

Edge: Rockets Update: Even

 

Bench:

Rockets – Omer AsikFrancisco Garcia, Jordan Hamilton, Jeremy Lin, Donatas Motiejunas

Jazz - Diante GarrettAlec BurksJeremy Evans, Marvin Williams

Edge: Rockets

 

Injuries:

Rockets – Greg Smith (OUT)

Jazz – None

 

Prediction - Rockets are in the midst of their first losing streak of the season (3), but that should end tonight. Rockets 114-89.

Tags: Houston Rockets