HOUSTON The memory of the interior bludgeoning administered by the Timberwolves on Friday paired with the image of what Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors could do for the Jazz if left unencumbered produced a sense of urgency for the Rockets' big men.
There was no getting around just how embarrassed the Rockets were after Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic pushed them around two days earlier. Not much needed to be said before the Jazz arrived on Sunday.
Aided by an unexpected source the Rockets held their own in the paint, part of a stellar defensive effort at the foundation of their 101-85 win.
Rookie center Greg Smith, recalled from Rio Grande Valley earlier Sunday, supplied some early fuel with his active, frenetic contribution. When veteran Samuel Dalembert got his bearings following his benching for tardiness, the Rockets (18-14) were fully back in stride.
"We knew they had two dominant bigs down low (in Jefferson and Millsap)," said Rockets forward Patr...