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Rockets hand Jazz worst home loss, 125-80

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 28, 2013 at 11:46 pm •  Published: January 28, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Houston Rockets had plenty of trouble getting to Salt Lake City as a blizzard left them grounded for a while in western Colorado.

Once they arrived, they made the Jazz pay, rolling to a 125-80 victory on Monday night and handing Utah the most-lopsided home loss in franchise history.

"We could have had Michael Jordan in his prime with us tonight . and it wouldn't have mattered (the way we played)," Jazz center Al Jefferson lamented.

"It was like everything went wrong. They came ready to play. I don't know where our energy was."

The Rockets, after recently suffering through a seven-game slide, are out of that funk. They have now won three straight and four of their last five.

"That's the way we have to play," Houston coach Kevin McHale said. "We have to play with pace. We have to move the ball. The ball can't get sticky. It's got to go from side to side. And guys just got to make plays."

James Harden continued to do most of the damage, scoring 25 points despite sitting the entire fourth quarter with the rest of the Rockets starters.

Harden, selected as an All-Star for the first time recently, has averaged 27.2 points in his last five games.

When he wasn't driving the lane, the Rockets were pouring in 3-pointers.

They hit 16 of 34 on the night to tie their season high for shots made beyond the arc.

But it was their pace that floored the Jazz, outscoring Utah 26-2 on the break.

"That's how we play," Harden said. "If you watch Rockets basketball, you know we get out in transition and we get some stops. We just try to do a good job of that for 48 minutes."

The Rockets held Utah to 39.5 percent shooting, and the Jazz made just 5 of 18 3-pointers.

Carlos Delfino and Marcus Morris each hit four 3-pointers alone for Houston and Omer Asik tied a career high with 19 rebounds.

Every Rockets player scored, including six in double figures, with Morris adding 16 and Delfino 14.

"It was just fun because everyone was getting involved," said Chandler Parsons, who added 12 points. "And it was right from the tip. We wanted to emphasize transition defense and taking care of the ball. We did those two things beautifully tonight and played unselfish. Everyone was just having fun out there and it's a lot more fun to play that way."

Houston led by 21 points in the second, by 35 in the third and kept pouring it on in the fourth.

The Rockets closed the third with three straight 3s — two by Morris and one by Harden — then saw Morris drain another 3 to open the fourth.

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