James Harden has once again proved the entire league that not only is he in full-control of the Houston Rockets’ offensive identity, but also in my opinion — the entire NBA MVP conversation.

Harden added yet another double-digit assist game with 10 — notching a game-high 31 points. Although he wasn’t crazy efficient from the floor, as he shot just 10-24 in the win. He was also 4-10 on three-pointers and 7-9 from the charity stripe.

And oh, yeah — he didn’t record a single turnover in 34:55 minutes.

NBA.com has Russell Westbrook #1 on that MVP ladder, but I’m quite eager to see how long that’ll last with Harden playing like this. It’s absolutely incredible the way he generates his points, inside-and-out.

  • Eric Gordon had himself another nice outing – 20 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals on 7-6 field-goals and 4-8 three-pointers.
  • Clint Capela was very efficient at the rim with 20 points and 8 rebounds on 10-19 shooting, but also handed out an unselfish five assists.
  • Nene with 16 points and 6 rebounds.
  • Patrick Beverley with six assists and three steals.
  • Ryan Anderson struggled with just 5 points and 4 rebounds on 2-9 shooting — including 1-5 from three.
  • Houston forced Utah to commit twelve turnovers, as they only gave up three.
  • Houston won the assist batttle, 28-22.

Houston’s largest lead in the game was 16 at one point. It wasn’t the easiest margin for them winning nine against a feisty Utah club.

The Jazz fought hard on this road loss. They were able to get a huge performance from their third-year Guard from Duke — Rodney Hood.

Hood finished with a red-hot 25 points with 4 rebounds, and three assists. He was 8-13 from the field, and 5-8 from long distance.

Second-year Forward and Kentucky alum Trey Lyles, who’s been starting in place of the injured Derrick Favors, was also a big performer in the loss. He added 21 with 5 boards on 8-12 shooting. Include two three-pointers to go along with it.

Rudy Gobert was everywhere tonight, with another double-double of 12/14, including a pair of steals with four rejections.

 

Gordon Hayward simply couldn’t get it going tonight, and as always, Trevor Ariza played him closely. Hayward finished with just nine points on 4-13 shots. However, he did have seven boards and five assists.

The Rockets (8-5) will face the Detroit Pistons on Monday — while Utah (7-7) continues their road-trip in Denver tomorrow.

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