Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) shoots as Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (0) defends in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Donovan Mitchell scored 30 points. Bojan Bogdanovic added 22 and Rudy Gobert returned for the Utah Jazz in their 135-101 win over the Houston Rockets on Monday night.
Before he was ejected with his second technical foul with 6:33 to play, Gobert had 14 points and seven rebounds. The Jazz were a plus-19 in the 22 minutes he was on the court.
Jordan Clarkson scored 16 and Hassan Whiteside contributed 11 points and 14 rebounds in Utah’s third wire-to-wire win of the season.
The Jazz have won six straight, and Whiteside has grabbed 49 rebounds in the last three games, all in a reserve role.
Eric Gordon, Jae’Sean Tate and Kevin Porter, Jr. each scored 14 for the Rockets, who have lost five in a row.
The Jazz went a perfect 6-0 on their homestand which gave them a three-game lead on Dallas for the fourth playoff seed in the Western Conference. Three of the games were by margins of 23 or more.
With Gobert’s return, the Jazz had their regular starting lineup for the first time in 13 games. That group has a record of 23-8 this season.
The Jazz defense fell from the top five into tatters early on without the big Frenchman, but the Jazz learned to play without him and held teams in check during the homestand.
The Rockets shot well for most of the game but saw a lot of finger-pointing and conversations after defensive breakdowns and missed passes. The Rockets own the worst record in the Western Conference and since beating the Jazz 10 games ago but have gone 1-9 since.
Utah used a 16-0 run bridging the first and second quarter to amass a comfortable margin, and led by as many as 31 in the first half. Utah’s 78 points was season-high for a first half.
Mitchell scored his 30 points on just 15 field goal attempts, with five 3-pointers and 7 of 8 from the line.
Rockets: Houston shot 50% or better from both 2- and 3-point range in the first half and still trailed by 25 points at the break. … Porter had a team-high eight assists. … The Rockets outscored the Jazz 19-13 on fast break points.
Jazz: Rudy Gay missed his fourth game with a sore right knee. … In the first half, Conley and Mitchell combined for 13 assists — equal to the number of assists for all the Rockets. … Whiteside and Bogdanovic also had technical fouls.
Rockets: Visit Phoenix on Wednesday.
Jazz: Visit the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.