Jazz-Rockets Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 01, 2012
James Harden's worst offensive performance for the Houston Rockets came last week against the Utah Jazz. His latest display wasn't much better, but a home-heavy stretch could be just what he needs. Harden tries to bounce back and lead the Rockets to a fifth straight home win Saturday night against the Jazz. Harden is among the NBA's scoring leaders at 24.5 points per game, but he mustered a season-low six points while going 1 for 6 from the floor in a 102-91 loss at Utah (9-8) on Nov. 19. He struggled again in his first road game since, missing 13 of 16 field goals as the Rockets fell 120-98 to Oklahoma City on Wednesday - hours after the team attended the funeral of coach Kevin McHale's daughter, Sasha, in Minneapolis. Harden, who finished with 17 points in his first game against his former team, has made just 30.3 percent of his shots while averaging 18.0 points during Houston's five-game road losing streak. Fortunately for the league's reigning Sixth Man of the Year, six of the Rockets' next seven games are at home. Harden is scoring 28.8 points per game on 50.0 percent shooting - 11 for 27 from beyond the arc - during his team's four-game winning streak at the Toyota Center. Houston (7-8) last won five in a row at home Jan. 13-21, a run that was largely fueled by solid defense. The Rockets' latest streak has been all about offensive efficiency, as they're averaging 110.3 points and shooting 44.4 percent from 3-point range. "Our offense is getting better because we're moving the ball better," acting coach Kelvin Sampson told the team's official website. "We're having more pass-pass combinations where we're attacking the paint with the dribble, drawing two guys, hitting the open guy, then that guy is making the extra pass. That's why our shooting percentage is going up." The Rockets are hoping for a lift with the potential return of second-leading scorer Chandler Parsons (15.7 ppg), who missed Wednesday's loss with a right shoulder injury. "I'm basically just really sore," said Parsons, who's averaged 21.0 points and hit 15 of 30 3-pointers in his last five home games. "I think it won't get worse (by playing). I think it's all about what I can tolerate, just being able to play through screens and rebound and play defense and do all the physical things. "I really want to play, I feel like the team needs me and I want to be out there with them, so I'm doing whatever I can to get back as soon as possible." Parsons had 11 points and 10 boards against the Jazz last week, making 3 of 11 field goals. Poor shooting has been a theme for the Rockets during a three-game skid versus Utah, connecting on 36.5 percent from the floor - 26.6 from beyond the arc. Just like Houston, the Jazz are looking to bounce back from a loss at Oklahoma City, falling 106-94 on Friday after opening this three-game trip with a 96-84 victory over New Orleans two days earlier. Utah may be without Marvin Williams for a second straight game since he's been diagnosed with concussion symptoms. The forward, who is traveling with the team, is averaging 10.4 points, and has managed 14.6 over his last five meetings with Houston. Enes Kanter mustered six points and eight rebounds against the Rockets last week. However, he's coming off his best performance of the season, getting 18 points with seven boards while making 8 of 11 field goals. Utah has outscored Houston in the paint by an average of 15.4 points in the series' last three games.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

76ers trading Ersan Ilyasova to Hawks for Tiago Splitter, pick

Budapest drops 2024 Olympic bid, leaving only Los Angeles and Paris, which could ban some participants

DeMarcus Cousins was ‘praying’ for a better supporting cast with Sacramento

Report: Nets trading Bojan Bogdanovic to Wizards

Elliott spoke with police after 'best friend' caught with gun

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jets reportedly believe Jay Cutler can compete in AFC East

Report: 'Melo could waive no-trade clause for Clippers after season

Rivers: Paul medically cleared to play, could return Thursday

Trea Turner missed part of Nats camp Wedneday for jury duty

Hernandez's prison calls to Pouncey could come up in trial

Josh Hamilton experiences pain in reconstructed knee, leaves camp

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win the MVP award

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker