Houston Rockets fall to Utah Jazz as Chris Paul completes 2-game suspension

HOUSTON, Texas -- Donovan Mitchell scored 38 points to lead the Utah Jazz to a 100-89 victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night in a game James Harden left with an apparent injury.

The Rockets got within five points midway through the fourth quarter but Harden headed to the locker room soon after and didn't return. It was unclear how he was injured or what the problem was and the team didn't immediately provide on update on his condition.

With Harden out the game, the Jazz regained control, scoring the next 10 points to make it 94-79 and cruise to the victory.

Harden scored 29 points and Carmelo Anthony had a season-high 22 for the Rockets, who were missing two starters. Chris Paul finished up a two-game suspension for his role in a fight with the Lakers last week and James Ennis sat out with a strained right hamstring.

Eric Gordon made his second straight start in place of Paul and Michael Carter-Williams made his first start of the season with Ennis on the bench.

Utah got this season's series with Houston off on a good note after the Rockets beat the Jazz 4-1 in the Western Conference semifinals after winning all four regular-season meetings.

The Jazz had a 15-point lead early in the fourth after scoring the first six points of the quarter. Houston got going after that, scoring the next seven points, with the first four from Clint Capela and a 3 from Anthony to make it 81-75 with about nine minutes left.

Mitchell hit a 3-pointer with less than eight minutes to go to leave the Jazz up by nine. Harden re-entered the game soon after that and made a jump shot after a steal by P.J. Tucker. Tucker grabbed another steal on the next possession and dished it to Harden, who found Capela ahead of the defense for a slam dunk that cut the lead to 84-79 and had Jazz coach Quin Snyder calling for a timeout as Harden implored the crowd to get louder.

The Jazz led by eight at halftime after holding Houston to just 15 points in the second quarter and had pushed the lead to 16 midway through the third after a 3-pointer by Joe Ingles. The Rockets went on a 10-4 run after that, capped by a steal by Carter-Williams and 3-pointer by Tucker to cut the lead to 68-58 with about four minutes left in the quarter.

Utah extended the lead to 11 late in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Jae Crowder and was up 75-66 entering the fourth.


Rockets: Centers Nene (right calf tightness) and Zhou Qi (left knee sprain), and forward Marquese Chriss (left ankle sprain) did not play. ... Anthony hadn't scored more than nine points in any of the first three games.


Rockets: Host Clippers on Friday.
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