Jazz host road-tested Rockets

From FOX Sports - December 6, 2017

SALT LAKE CITYBeating the Rockets away from Houston these days is as challenging as slowing down their explosive offense.

Houston has been unstoppable away from home. The Rockets (18-4) share the Western Conference lead in large part because they have won 10 of their first 11 road games. They have six consecutive road victories heading into a Thursday game against the Jazz in Utah, capturing each of those contests by at least 15 points.

Another win at Salt Lake City would give Houston an 11-1 mark on the road for the first time since the 1996-97 season.

The key behind Houstons ability to consistently win convincingly on the road is playing with energy and purpose. This Rockets team already has its sights set on a bigger picture.

Im looking to win the championship this year, guard James Harden said after Houstons 118-95 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. I think thats all of our goals. Its a buildup. Its going to be every game. Every day is a grind. Theres going to be some up and some downs. But as long as weve got our eyes on the biggest prize, well be all good.

Harden is putting together an MVP-worthy effort to keep the ship sailing in the right direction. He has scored at least 20 points in all 22 of Houstons games. Harden currently is the league leader in scoring (31.7 points per game), and he ranks second in assists (9.7 per game) among qualifiers behind Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook.

The return of Chris Paul to the lineup has offered an extra boost to the Rockets as well. Houston is 8-0 with Paul on the court, and he has emerged as the team leader in assists (9.8), steals (1.9) and 3-point shooting (42.5 percent).

With those two leading the way, stopping the Rockets offense is virtually impossible.


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