Brooks, Martin lead Rockets past Jazz
HOUSTON (AP)—The Utah Jazz saved no energy for Houston after surviving an overtime thriller at home the previous night.
Aaron Brooks(notes) and Kevin Martin(notes) scored 28 points apiece, and Rick Adelman became the 11th coach to reach 900 career victories in the Rockets’ easy 113-96 win over the sluggish Jazz on Wednesday.
The Jazz were coming off a one-point overtime win over Oklahoma City in Salt Lake City on Tuesday night and didn’t arrive in Houston until about 4 a.m.
They looked a step slow from the start against the Rockets and trailed 60-46 at halftime. Williams, who scored a career-high 42 points against the Thunder, started 1 for 5 from the field and gave away six of Utah’s 14 first-half turnovers.
“Coach (Jerry Sloan) told us to leave it all on the floor (against Oklahoma City),” Williams said. “I don’t like to make excuses, but it was a tough game for us, a tough turnaround. I tried to get it going. I just never really had that energy.”
Utah trailed by as many as 26 in the second half, and Sloan benched his starters for the fourth quarter.
“We couldn’t stay with them from the beginning,” Sloan said. “I expect a lot from our guys every game. If the energy is not there, it just isn’t there.”
The Rockets also played on Tuesday, earning a 10-point win in Memphis.
“They probably had tired legs, they had a tough, hard-fought game,” Hayes said. “But that’s the NBA. You’re going to have back-to-backs like that.”
“The Rockets have a good history,” Brooks said. “It’s good to be in the books somewhere.”
Houston controlled the boards early and built an 11-point lead. Hayes grabbed eight rebounds in the first quarter, two on one Houston possession that resulted in an open perimeter jumper for Martin.
“We were touching a lot of balls, we were deflecting a lot of passes,” said Scola, who had five rebounds, two steals and a block. “We pretty much controlled the whole game.”
The Rockets also went 5 for 5 from 3-point range and 12 for 22 from the field overall in the first quarter to lead 33-22. The Rockets stretched the lead to 16 early in the second quarter and hit their first seven 3s before Brooks missed with about 5 minutes left in the half.
Houston also went 11 for 14 from the free throw line in the half to preserve a comfortable lead.
Hayes matched his previous career high for rebounds (17) with five minutes left in the third quarter. Brooks swished his fifth 3-pointer with 4:35 left for an 87-61 lead, Houston’s biggest of the night.
The Jazz finished with 26 turnovers that led to 24 points for Houston. Utah also went 3 for 15 from 3-point range. ^NOTES: Jazz C Mehmet Okur(notes) left in the third quarter and did not return due to tendinitis in his left Achilles’. … The NBA announced earlier that officials missed a foul in the final seconds of Utah’s overtime victory over Oklahoma City. Sloan could not recall a specific instance when the league acknowledged an officiating mistake after the fact—though it has happened during each of the last two postseasons. “That’s part of basketball,” Sloan said. “I don’t think you can spend all your time worrying about that. Once it’s over, you might be upset a little bit at the moment, but life goes on. You can’t do anything about it.” … The Rockets announced that F Shane Battier(notes) would sit out the rest of the season with a sprained left knee. Battier was injured on March 21 in New York.