SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Derrick Favors had 24 points and 10 rebounds off the bench to help the Utah Jazz overcome Rudy Gobert’s quick ejection and coast to a 118-91 victory over the Houston Rockets on Thursday night.
Joe Ingles added 18 points and six rebounds for the Jazz. Utah (13-13) won for the fourth time in five games to climb back to .500.
James Harden scored 15 points while Chris Paul and Clint Capela added 12 apiece for the Rockets. Houston (11-13) allowed an opponent to pull away in the second half for a second straight game after committing a season-high 22 turnovers and giving up a season-high 33 points off those turnovers.
The Jazz played the bulk of the game without their starting center after Gobert was ejected less than three minutes into the first half. He picked up his first foul on the opening tip. After picking up his second foul at the 9:13 mark of the first quarter, Gobert got tossed when he swatted a paper cup off the scorer’s table in frustration.
Gobert drew a $15,000 fine from league officials earlier in the week for criticizing the officiating crew following Utah’s 102-100 loss to Miami on Sunday.
Utah adjusted well to Gobert’s early absence. The Jazz ripped off an 11-0 run to take a 27-16 lead near the end of the first quarter. Favors ignited the spurt with a pair of dunks. Dante Exum finished it off by slashing to the rim on back-to-back possessions for a pair of baskets.
The Jazz led by as many as 15 points in the second quarter, before Houston cut it to 53-45 on Gerald Green’s three-pointer with 2.2 seconds left before halftime. Then, in the third quarter, Utah ran away from the Rockets.
The Jazz opened up the second half with a 15-2 spurt. Ingles and Crowder each scored a pair of baskets on Utah’s first four possessions of the third quarter to ignite the run that gave the Jazz a 68-47 lead. Houston committed four turnovers in that stretch, leading to eight points for Utah. The Rockets finished with eight turnovers in the quarter and gave up more points off turnovers (15) than they scored in the quarter (11).
Favors bookended Jazz baskets over three straight possessions with a dunk and a hook shot to give Utah its largest lead at 91-54.
Rockets: Michael Carter-Williams scored a season-high 13 points off the bench. . Houston totaled a season-low 11 third-quarter points. That also represented a season low for a Utah opponent. . The Rockets gave up more than 100 points for the 10th consecutive game.
Jazz: Exum had a season-high 14 points. . Utah outscored Houston 16-4 in fast-break points and finished with a 70-42 advantage on points in the paint. . The Jazz improved to 7-2 when scoring at least 20 points off turnovers.
Rockets: Visit Dallas on Saturday.
Jazz: Visit San Antonio on Sunday.