Sports Commentator Patrick Blake is host of the Blake’s Take show, airing weekdays from 5-6 p.m. on KZNU Sports Radio Southern Utah Sports Network – 96.7 FM 1450 AM – with live stream online at http://www.KZNUsports.com. Reporting from live TV broadcast.
ST. GEORGE – Gordon Hayward scored a season-high 29 points to lead the depleted Utah Jazz to a 103-91 win over the Houston Rockets in Houston Wednesday night. The win moves the Jazz to ninth place in the West but keeps the one-and-a-half games out of the playoffs with Denver also winning. The win also snaps a four game winning streak for the Rockets.
Hayward was an outstanding 9-14 from the floor, including 4-5 from deep and 7-7 from the free-throw line. Hayward played 39 minutes for the Jazz who are missing five players due to injury.
With only ten healthy players, the Jazz had to call up Blake Ahearn from the NBDL. Ahearn did not dress last night but is expected to dress on Friday.
The Jazz took a 10-point lead into the break and extended that lead in the third quarter. The Jazz stepped up their defense on the 3-point line holding the Rockets to 4-20 shooting from behind the arc.
The Rockets did make a run in the final quarter cutting the Jazz 13-point lead down to 4, but the Jazz held off the charging Rockets and finished of the game with the 12-point win.
The Jazz bench, well what they had for a bench, also came to play last night. Derrick Favors pulled in the team’s only double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Jamall Tinsley add 7 points and Alec Burks helped out 5 points off the bench.
Paul Millsap chipped in with 21 points while Al Jefferson scored 15 points. DeMarre Carroll added 10 points for the Jazz in his second career start.
Goran Dragic led the way for the Rockets with 19 points. Kyle Lowry added 15 points off the bench for the Rockets who are now in a three game tie for sixth place in the West with Denver and Dallas.
With only seven games left we are down to five teams for three spots in the playoffs. The sixth seed is huge! Whoever can get the sixth seed won’t have to play Oklahoma or San Antonio in the first round.
6. Dallas 32-26
7. Houston 32-26
8. Denver 32-26
9. Utah 31-28
10. Phoenix 30-28
The Jazz continue their three-game road trip Friday at New Orleans and wrap the road trip up the next night in Memphis.
The Jazz still have games against Dallas and Phoenix remaining on the schedule. Both games are at home.
Of the final seven games, four are against teams that are in or have a chance to get in the playoffs.
For more JAZZ talk, tune into Blake’s Take weekdays from 5-6 p.m. on KZNU Sports Radio – 93.1 FM 1450 AM – or online streaming live on the brand new KZNU Sports website: www.kznusports.com
Twitter Hashtag: #UTAHJAZZ
Copyright 2012 St. George News.