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100
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89
5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 PM CTNaN:� , October 24, 2018
Toyota Center, Houston, Texas  Attendance: 18,055

Rockets, Jazz hope to find footing

According to STATS
According to STATS

Utah Jazz at Houston Rockets

  1. The Jazz lost to the Grizzlies, 92-84, after scoring 123 points in each of their previous two games. The five starters went 3-for-21 (.143) from three, tied for their worst since November 12, 2015 (1-for-11 against Miami).
  2. Houston lost to the Clippers, 115-112, despite shooting 42.9 percent from three-point range. That is the team's highest three-point percentage in a loss since January 30, 2016 against Washington (48.6).
  3. The Rockets swept the regular season series against the Jazz and defeated Utah in five games in the Western Conference Semifinals. It was just the second time in franchise history where they beat someone eight times in a season (they also beat the Timberwolves eight times last season).
  4. In the only road game for the Jazz this season, Joe Ingles went 4-for-6 from three-point range against the Kings, finishing with 22 points. He is shooting 48.2 percent from downtown since last season, best in the NBA (minimum 200 attempts).
  5. James Harden has had at least 25 points in 11 consecutive regular-season games against the Jazz, tied with his own streak against the 76ers for the longest active streak in the NBA. With a 25-point game tonight, Harden will set the Rockets' record for most consecutive 25-point games against any opponent.
  6. Chris Paul will serve the last game of his suspension tonight. Since last season, the Rockets have shot 39.1 percent from three with him on the court compared to 33.7 percent when he is off the court.

HOUSTON -- With so many eyes throughout the NBA fixed on their performance, the Houston Rockets have had that scrutiny compounded by both injuries and a high-profile case of roster attrition.

Rockets forward James Ennis (hamstring) will not play on Wednesday when the Rockets (1-2) host the Utah Jazz (1-2) at Toyota Center, lengthening an infirmed list that already includes guard Brandon Knight (knee), center Nene (calf), and forward Marquese Chriss (ankle). Swingman Michael Carter-Williams, who has struggled mightily at the start of his first season in Houston, will replace Ennis in the starting lineup, getting the nod over veteran Carmelo Anthony, whose transition to a reserve role for the first time in his career has been bumpy.

The Rockets will also be without starting guard Chris Paul, who will serve the second game of his two-game suspension for his role in a brouhaha with the Los Angeles Lakers last Saturday. Paul, who missed the Rockets' loss to the Clippers the following night, ably sidestepped questions regarding the skirmish.

"That's in the past," Paul said. "I think for me now it's all about making sure the fellas are ready for Utah and me getting excited for the game on Friday against the Clippers."

"You know, that was my reaction. Unfortunately, I can't be out there for my teammates."

For all the deserved lionizing of Utah defensively, the Jazz thrives as much off the tendency to score efficiently inside the arc. Last season, Utah ranked 12th in 2-point percentage (51.5), an effort that worked marvelously in concert with an ability to stifle the opposition in the paint.

That same effectiveness has proven elusive relative to consistent results. After posting a franchise-record 81-point first half against Golden State last week, the Jazz managed only 42 points in the second half, five fewer than the Warriors surrendered in the second quarter alone.

Utah never even got started against the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday, shooting 35.4 percent (29 for 82) overall and just 42.0 percent inside the arc. Utah ranks 20th in 2-point shooting percentage this season (48.3 percent), with struggles moving the ball yielding undesirable results.

"The substance of this team is the fact that we move the ball and we work together to get good shots," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said following the 92-84 loss to the Grizzlies. "And we didn't do that. You know, we know the guys we believe in. And you go into the game with a plan and then you adjust to the game. And that's basically what's happened. I don't think there was anything different about the Golden State game. And (Monday), we were down, obviously."

These issues tend to rectify themselves over time. Utah, with its static roster, is a presumptive candidate for improvement this season. Certain early-season problems don't warrant red flags.

"There's no major concern," Jazz guard Ricky Rubio said. "I think we -- we (are) good as a team. We believe in ourselves. But we've got to play better on both ends. We haven't put a whole game together where we can say that, we (are) who we are."

Updated October 24, 2018

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