EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Rockets explosion too much for Jazz solid effort and game plan

SUMMARY: An all-time barrage of 3-pointers ended a really good night for the Utah Jazz in a loss to the Houston Rockets, 120-99.

• The Jazz led the game 91-83 after a Thabo Sefolosha 3-pointer from the left corner. Then the Rockets went bananas. Eric Gordon hit three straight 3s from deep and that was just the beginning. The Rockets ended up blowing the Jazz out with a 120-99 win, closing the game in a 37 to 8 run.

• If you run through the history of the great NBA teams, they have these runs that are unstoppable. The great Bulls teams did it with defense. The current Warriors did it with a combination of O and D. This Rockets team does it with 3-point shots and when they link three or four of them in a row, it is lights out. When they hit 8 of 10, it is tough to handle.

• The game was terrific for the Jazz until the Rockets’ barrage. The game had 22 lead changes and 14 ties. The game had 11 lead changes and seven ties in the third quarter alone.

• The Jazz’s strategy was to try to get the ball out of the hands of James Harden or Chris Paul and they did it well. It slowed down the Rockets and took them out of their rhythm for most of the night. Even in the onslaught, the shots were made by Eric Gordon, Clint Capela and Trevor Ariza.

• Eric Gordon takes 3s them from five feet behind the line which increases the spacing even more.

• The third quarter was fascinating basketball. Both teams played 5 out (no center, five shooters all outside the 3-point line). The Rockets played it with drives to the basket and then would kick it out to shooters. The Jazz did it inverse with back cutters and passes to the cutters and the Jazz torched the Rockets.

• Donovan Mitchell only played 21 minutes. I believe this was because the other guys were playing well tonight. Ricky Rubio — who hasn’t been finishing games — was very good tonight and was running the team well. Rodney Hood had it going with 26 points and five 3-pointers. Joe Ingles has been so solid all the time and was again tonight. One of them would have had to be taken out of the game and I am not sure who that would have been.

• Joe Ingles played 37 minutes. He has played 21 games this year of over 30 minutes. Last year, he played 19 the entire season.

• Joe Johnson got some of his game going in and around the paint, but the 3-point shot is not falling.

• I loved the way the Jazz played tonight. They trailed by one at the half. They held the Rockets to 51 first half points, one of their lowest totals of the season. They broke the Rockets rhythm and style for the majority of the night. Then a great team kicked in with its complimentary players. That is the sign of how good the Rockets are this year.

• I wonder when the last time a team took 16 more 3s than its opponent and lost. I am guessing it doesn’t happen much, if ever.