The Rockets are 1-1 so far on the homestand and suffered their third loss in four tries since a three-game winning streak with Friday's 111-98 setback to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Kevin Love had 33 points and 17 rebounds, and Nikola Pekovic scored a career-high 30 points to lead the Wolves.
"Look, they just beat us up," said Rockets head coach Kevin McHale. "The bottom line is Pekovic had nine offensive rebounds. [Ricky] Rubio dribbled around, made shots, made passes. [Luke] Ridnour got loose early. They just beat it up. Bottom line. They rolled hard, got in the paint and we didn't have any answers for them."
McHale's squad will also host the Grizzlies, 76ers and Raptors on the residency and owns an 11-4 mark in Space City. Houston hopes to hold the Jazz under 90 points and is riding a 22-game winning streak when doing so.
The Jazz haven't fared so well outside of Salt Lake City as evidenced by their 3-9 road mark, and will play eight of the next 11 games on foreign territory.
Utah is coming off Friday's 114-100 home win over Washington and received a season-high 34 points and 12 rebounds from Al Jefferson. Paul Millsap added a double-double of his own with 14 points and 12 rebounds for Utah, which won for just the third time in its last 10 contests.
"I saw a couple of (early) ones go in and my right hand got going and I made some shots," said Jefferson. "(We) also played great D and my teammates did a great job getting me the ball. It feels good to get a win and we need to continue to play hard."
The Jazz, losers of two straight and six of seven on the road, will return home to host San Antonio after tonight's game. They lost two of three meetings with Houston a season ago and the two teams have split the last 12 matchups in Space City.