Rockets down Jazz behind Lowry's seven 3s

Kyle Lowry went 7-for-8 from three-point range 85, at Toyota Center.

"I felt good out there," said Lowry. "That was the best way I've played in a long time, but the thing that really matters is that we won and played great defense in the second half."

Lowry also dished out nine assists, while Luis Scola added 26 points and nine rebounds for the Rockets, who won their 23rd straight game when holding their opponents under 90 points.

Al Jefferson netted 23 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for the Utah, which was trying to win consecutive games for the first time since January 28 and 30. Paul Millsap had 22 points in the Jazz's eighth loss in 11 games.

Neither team took a lead larger than four points in a back-and-forth first quarter that saw four ties, one lead change and the Rockets take a 23-22 advantage into the second quarter.

At the end of a close second quarter, Lowry was fouled with 0.5 seconds remaining and sank both free throws to make it a 46-45 game at the half.

Lowry shot 4-for-4 from beyond the arc and 5-for-5 overall in the first half to lead the Rockets with 18 points, while Millsap and Jefferson scored 12 points apiece to pace the Jazz.

The back-and-forth affair continued through the first six minutes of the third quarter that saw four lead changes and five ties.

But after a pair of Jefferson free throws knotted the game at 58 near the midpoint of the third, Chandler Parsons dropped in a three-pointer that was followed by a Scola steal and basket, sparking a 14-6 run that gave the Rockets a 72-64 advantage after three quarters.

Houston carried that momentum into the fourth, opening the frame with an 8-3 spurt to stretch its lead to double-digits, 80-67.

Millsap recorded the game's next eight points as the Jazz battled back with an 11-0 run to close the gap to 80-78, but Lowry halted the swing with a three- pointer and Houston outscored Utah by a mark of 21-7 over the final 5 1/2 minutes of the contest to run away with the victory.

"We just didn't make shots at the end of the fourth quarter," Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin said. "In the second half we got away from what we were doing early in the game. We just didn't have enough to finish."

Game Notes

Houston improved to 2-1 on a six-game homestand. The Rockets are 12-4 overall at home...Utah fell to 3-10 on the road this season...Jazz guard Raja Bell went 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. He has now recorded a three-pointer in 18 straight games, which is currently the second-longest streak in the NBA...The game had 12 ties and 11 lead changes overall.