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Mar 30, 2024 12:23 am

Rockets hold off Jazz for 11th straight win

Jazz, Rockets

Jalen Green scored 34 points, including a 30-point second half, and Fred VanVleet added 22 as the red-hot Houston Rockets defeated the host Utah Jazz 101-100 on Friday night for their 11th consecutive victory.

Amen Thompson contributed 18 points, 14 rebounds and five assists and Jabari Smith Jr. chipped in 14 points to help Houston match its longest winning streak since March 2018.

With the win, Houston (38-35) remained a game behind the Golden State Warriors, who beat the Charlotte Hornets earlier Friday, for the final play-in spot in the Western Conference.

John Collins contributed 30 points and 11 rebounds and Collin Sexton had 29 points for Utah (29-45), which lost its eighth straight. Injured veterans Lauri Markkanen (shoulder) and Jordan Clarkson (back) didn’t play.

Green, who had 20 points in the third quarter, and VanVleet combined for just nine points in the first half but exploded to score 47 in the second half.

VanVleet scored 14 in the fourth, including a clutch shot to give the Rockets a four-point lead with 15 seconds remaining. Utah had just trimmed Houston’s seven-point fourth-quarter lead to one.

After Johnny Juzang scored to cut the lead to two with 6.4 seconds remaining, Green hit two free throws with 3.1 seconds left to seal the win.

Taylor Hendricks hit a last-second 3-pointer to narrow the deficit.

Green scored 14 points in the first five-plus minutes of the third quarter to help the Rockets during a 20-7 surge, turning a 47-41 halftime deficit into a 61-54 lead. He later hit a 3 to increase the lead to 67-58.

The Jazz closed out the quarter with a 14-2 run to reclaim a 72-69 advantage.

Utah led by four when VanVleet ignited a 14-3 run with a 3 and a floater as Houston went up 92-85. Green capped that surge with a 3-pointer to end a possession in which the Rockets had four offensive rebounds.

Utah made a late push to get within one but the rally fell short.

–Field Level Media

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