Jazz end 4-game losing streak with 104-83 win over Rockets

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - C.J. Miles scored a season-high 27 points and the Utah Jazz beat Houston 104-83 on Wednesday night, halting a four-game losing streak and the Rockets' four-game winning streak.

Devin Harris added 19 points for Utah, which avenged a 101-85 loss in Houston on Feb. 19.

Luis Scola led Houston with 18 points, while Kyle Lowry was held to 13 on 4-of-9 shooting after scoring 32 in the first meeting.

The Jazz won despite playing without injured starters Paul Millsap and Raja Bell. Harris left late in the game with nausea and did not return.


The Rockets led 36-28 after a 3-pointer by Goran Dragic with 7:31 left in the second quarter before the Jazz closed on a 21-8 run, including eight straight points by Harris.

The Jazz trailed by eight after the first quarter, when they committed 10 turnovers. But after being outscored 18-8 in the paint in the first, Utah dominated inside and finished with a 58-32 advantage.

Utah's four-game losing streak started in Houston 11 days ago with a barrage of 3-pointers by the Rockets - 10 in all and seven by Lowry.

This time, the Rockets started 0 of 4 from beyond the arc and finished 6 of 23.

Al Jefferson added 14 points and 10 rebounds for Utah, and Josh Howard, starting again with Bell out, finished with 14 points. Gordon Hayward had 10 as five Jazz players scored in double figures.

As the rout was on, the second half turned into the Jeremy Evans show.

Evans was honored before the game as the first Jazz player to win the NBA's Slam Dunk contest. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert declared Feb. 29, leap day in a leap year, as Jeremy Evans Day.

Evans didn't disappoint the crowd, which saw him throw down a pair of dunks, block three shots and hand out two assists.

The win was a needed boost for the Jazz, who were without their emotional leader in Millsap, who bruised his heel in Tuesday's loss at Sacramento. Derrick Favors started in his place.

The juggled lineup had the Jazz looking disheveled early.

They trailed 26-18 after the first quarter and closed with three straight turnovers.

Miles brought the Jazz back in the second with nine points. He scored six straight and nine of 13 in a 4-minute stretch as Utah pulled to 36-35.

Hayward's free throws gave Utah a 41-40 edge. Harris then scored eight consecutive points for the Jazz as they took a 49-44 lead into the break.

Utah outscored Houston 31-18 in the second quarter as the Rockets shot 31.6 percent and were outscored 18-2 in the paint.

NOTES: Evans edged Rockets forward Chase Budinger for Saturday's Slam Dunk title, but Budinger insisted before the game there were no hard feelings. "He had a spectacular dunk, a very unique dunk. I'm happy he won," said Budinger, who lost by a percentage point. ... Lowry was assessed a fourth-quarter technical after hitting his second 3-pointer.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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Lynn DeBruin


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