Green scores 41, Rockets beat Jazz 147-119 for eighth straight victory

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HOUSTON — Jalen Green scored 41 points, Fred VanVleet added 10 3-pointers and a season-high 34 and the Houston Rockets made a season-best 27 3-pointers to beat the Utah Jazz 147-119 on Saturday night for their eighth straight win.

The Rockets’ win streak is their longest since winning eight in a row in November 2019. Houston closed within 1 ½ games of idle Golden State for 10th place and the last play-in spot in the Western Conference.

“It won’t really mean anything if we don’t make the playoffs,” Green said. “That’s the goal everyone has right now. I’m just trying to go out there and be the best version of myself for my teammates.”

Jabari Smith Jr. and Kris Dunn were ejected five seconds into the second quarter after both were assessed technical fouls for fighting. The two threw punches at each other after they got tangled up while the ball was being brought up the court. Players and officials got between them before the scuffle could escalate further.

Dunn said the two “exchanged a couple words, a couple pushes and the next thing you know we’re ejected.”

“For me, I take responsibility for my actions and whatever the league decides for me, I have to respect that,” Dunn said of possible punishment.

Smith was not made available postgame.

Houston coach Ime Udoka said he thought the altercation was a carryover from when the teams played on Jan. 20 and both players got into it then and were issued technical fouls.

“I think Dunn hit him with a shot, and then, they got wrapped up and threw a few punches,” Udoka said. “Basically, nothing landed, but as soon as you throw a punch, you’re going to be ejected.”

VanVleet scored 23 points on seven 3-pointers, and Green had 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting in the first half as the Rockets built an 85-55 halftime lead. Houston shot 65% in the first half and was 15 of 24 on 3s.

VanVleet tied James Harden and Chandler Parsons for the single-game franchise record for 3s. Green finished 15 of 22 from the field and was 7 of 11 on 3-pointers.

“I felt good after the first shot,” VanVleet said. “Got a couple more clean looks. When it’s going in like that, and you get good looks, teammates find you in good spots. We got it going a little bit there, and we were trying to ride that wave a little there.”

Jeff Green scored a season-high 21 points, and Dillon Brooks added 12 points for Houston, which shot 56% for the game. The Rockets improved to 35-35, marking the first time they were at .500 since Jan. 13, when they were 19-19.

John Collins scored a season high-tying 25 points, and Collin Sexton added 20 points and eight assists for the Jazz, who tied a season high with their fifth straight loss.

Utah shot 45% but was 11 of 37 on 3-pointers.

“Credit to Houston, 27 3s is pretty outstanding,” Utah coach Will Hardy said. “A lot of those were deep. Fred’s a hell of a player. Jalen’s a hell of a player. They both got really hot.”

UP NEXT

Jazz: Host Dallas on Monday night.

Rockets: Host Portland on Monday night.

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