Jazz Fly By Rockets Thursday Night | Utah Jazz

In the first of a three-game road trip, Utah head coach Quin Snyder wanted to make sure he got his starters as much rest as possible. 

The final two games of the road trip come against Chicago (4-1) and Milwaukee (defending champions) on back-to-back nights beginning Saturday. That’s why getting off to a good start against Houston on Thursday night was so vital.

The Jazz jumped out to a 14-point lead after the first quarter and never looked back, beating the Rockets 122-91 thanks to a solid effort by the second unit.

“I think it’s important, even psychologically too, that they don’t feel like they’re tired. I don’t think we are, but sometimes it’s mental as much as anything,” Snyder said postgame about getting his staters some rest.

For the second straight game, Utah’s second unit came up big. 

Two nights ago against Denver, Utah’s reserves brought the physicality and allowed the team to pull away in the fourth quarter for the big win. Tonight though, the reserves didn’t just keep the lead, they thoroughly outplayed the Rockets and allowed the starters a much-needed break heading into the weekend.

“We’re an older team than a lot of teams,” Joe Ingles said with a laugh. “I think anytime we get the chance to be able to rest guys at the end of the game, I think coach will do it most times.”

The Jazz scored 59 bench points Thursday night, the most they’ve totaled this season. 

Jordan Clarkson led the way with 16 points, while Ingles scored all 14 of his points in the first half. Eric Paschall scored a season-high 13 points, while Hassan Whiteside had his second straight game in double figures with 10 points. The four of them also chipped in 21 rebounds and seven assists.

“We got a little lethargic where they (Houston) went on a 12-2 run, but I thought our bench came in. … Jared (Butler) played defense, Eric (Paschall) gave us energy, Hassan (Whiteside) protected the rim, I thought those guys did a really good job when they came back in because it raised our energy level,” Snyder said.

After finding himself in more of a playmaking role to start the season, Ingles came out on fire in the first quarter as well. He finished with eight points in six minutes, adding two more three-pointers in the second.

Paschall took over in the second quarter as well, helping the Jazz extend their lead into the half with eight points. 

Utah led 61-40 at the break.

“For tonight to be able to get a little bit of rest. … If we can get out of here because someone said a tornado is coming or some bad weather. … Get a little bit of rest before Saturday or whenever the next one is,” Ingles said.

The Jazz used a 9-0 run midway through the third quarter to take the 90-56 lead following a pair of Mitchell free throws. But Houston refused to go away, going on an 18-2 run to cut the deficit to 18 early in the fourth quarter.

Utah reestablished itself with a 23-6 run to take a 35-point lead with five minutes to play, essentially ending the game.

Bojan Bogdanovic finished with a team-high 19 points, while Mitchell added 15 points and six assists. Gobert finished with another double-double, his fourth in as many games this season, with 16 points and 14 rebounds.

The Jazz, 4-0 for the first time since 2008, now travel to Chicago to face the upstart Bulls, who are coming off their first loss of the season. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. MST on Saturday.

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