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Rockets hand Jazz worst home loss, 125-80

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Rockets hand Jazz worst home loss, 125-80

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) James Harden scored 25 points and the Houston Rockets rolled by the Jazz 125-80 on Monday night, handing Utah its worst home loss in franchise history.

The Jazz had won six straight at home but simply couldn't keep pace in transition. They were outscored 26-2 on the break and shot just 39.5 percent. Their previous worst was by 33 points to Milwaukee on Nov. 18, 1980.

Carlos Delfino and Marcus Morris each hit four 3-pointers for Houston, which made 16 of 34 from beyond the arc. Omer Asik had 19 rebounds as the Rockets (25-22) won their third straight.

Houston led by 21 points in the second, by 35 in the third and kept pouring it on fourth.

Randy Foye led Utah with 12 points.

The Jazz hardly looked like the team that had won nine of their previous 12. They fell behind by nine early but rallied to tie it at 22 late in the first.

After that it was all Houston, prompting fans to boo and head for the exits early in the third quarter.

At one point, Houston hit three straight 3-pointers, two by Morris and another by Harden, who took a seat on the bench with the rest of the Rockets starters the entire fourth.

Morris opened the fourth with another 3 just to put an exclamation point on the night.

The Rockets led by as many as 21 points in the second, thanks to aggressive moves to the rim by Harden and the 3-point shooting of Delfino.

Harden had 18 points by halftime and Delfino 14 in just 12 minutes off the bench as he hit his first four 3-pointers.

The Jazz scored 39 points in the first half.

Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson were a combined 0 for 7 to start and 5 of 18 at halftime.

By then it was over.

To think the Rockets had a hard time even getting to Utah. A blizzard had them grounded Sunday night in Grand Junction, Colo.

They arrived in Salt Lake City early enough for Jeremy Lin to slip in for the last screening of the documentary ``Linsanity'' during the Sundance Film Festival.

The movie premiered about a year after Lin began catapulting to worldwide stardom in New York. He was an afterthought only a month before, cut by the Rockets on Christmas Day and claimed by the Knicks off waivers.

He only took five shots Monday, but hit them all to finish with 12 points. Chandler Parsons and Patrick Patterson each added 12.

Morris finished with 16 points and Delfino 14.

Jefferson added 10 points for Utah but shot just 5 of 14.

The Rockets jumped out to a 15-6 lead as they hit 7 of 9 shots to open.

The Jazz were without third-leading scorer Gordon Hayward, who sprained his right shoulder late in Saturday's overtime win over Indiana. He had been averaging 14.5 points and shooting 47.1 percent from beyond the arc during the month. It was the first game he did not play since his rookie season three years ago.

Even he probably couldn't have made a difference in this one.

NOTES: Eighty-nine-year-old Wataru Misaka, the first player of Asian descent to play in the NBA, was at Monday's game to watch Lin warm up. Misaka, once discriminated against because of his Japanese ancestry, recalled writing Lin a note of encouragement ``when he was with Oakland back in the dark days when things didn't look too good for him. He didn't have all these fans at this time but he's made a lot of progress since then and I think he's in a much better place now.'' Misaka, who lives in nearby Bountiful, is a former point guard who played for the New York Knicks in the 1947-48 season and led the University of Utah to the 1944 NCAA championship. ``He broke a lot of barriers and racial stereotypes,'' Lin told the Houston Chronicle of Misaka. ``You have to pay respect to the people who came before you.'' Lin is the first American-born NBA player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent.

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 122-105 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night...

1. This was a tough one for the Wizards. For the third time this season, they got beaten by the Hornets and for the second straight time it was in a blowout.

They still had their moments, though, including this alley-oop from Tomas Satoransky (11 points) to Markieff Morris (13 points, eight assists, six rebounds). It was the second alley-oop connection for those two in as many games:

PODCAST: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR SATORANSKY

2. This was a play that encapsulated the Wizards' night. Jodie Meeks drew a flagrant foul on Michael Carter-Williams, but took a hard shot to the head:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a solid game with 11 points, including this big dunk:

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4. Speaking of Oubre, he helped the Wizards close the first half with a late surge. The real highlight was Bradley Beal stealing the ball and hitting a corner three at the buzzer:

5. Beal ended up with 33 points, six assists and six rebounds. Here's an and-1 he got to go down in the second half:

All in all, it was an ugly performance for the Wizards. To cheer you up, we'll leave you with this young fan who had a great time at Capital One Arena despite the result:

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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

The Washington Wizards lost to the Charlotte Hornets 122-105 on Friday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Bad matchup: Despite their poor record, there is something about this Charlotte Hornets team that gives the Wizards trouble. The Wizards lost to the Hornets (26-33) for the third time in three tries this season on Friday night and, aside from a push in the third quarter, they were never really in it.

All in all, it was a dud of a game for the Wizards who were probably due for one. They had won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall got injured. They were also coming off a huge road win the night before in Cleveland, a game that started an hour later than usual.

It was a tough turnaround and the Wizards sure looked like it. It was evident in their defense and unforced errors. They did, however, have a decent shooting night. They shot 49.4 percent from the field 16-for-17 from the free throw line.

The Wizards' second unit didn't provide a lift outside of Kelly Oubre, Jr. (11 points). Mike Scott, one of their best bench options, was held scoreless.

PODCAST: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR SATORANSKY

Ugly first half: The Wizards only trailed by 12 points at halftime, but that score was skewed by a five-point push in the final seconds. The Hornets dominated for much of the first two quarters and did so by hitting threes and forcing turnovers. Those mistakes dug the Wizards a hole they never recovered from.

The Wizards had 10 turnovers in the first half, the same amount they had in their entire game the night before. Limiting mistakes was a big reason they beat the Cavaliers, yet the script was flipped by Charlotte.

The Hornets capitalized with 23 points off those 10 first-half turnovers. The Wizards had 14 giveaways for the games that led to 28 total points. 

Charlotte was 7-for-11 from three at one point in the first half and finished 17-for-39 (43.6%) for the game. That is very uncharacteristic for the Wizards, who entered the night second in the NBA in opponents three-point percentage.

Again, though, the first half ended well as Oubre and Bradley Beal gave the Wizards a jolt in the final seconds:

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Bad defense: The Wizards have played some great defense in recent weeks, but they just didn't have it on Friday night. Most surprising were the guys that hurt them most.

Dwight Howard was limited to 11 points and six rebounds and Kemba Walker didn't score his first points until the final minute of the first half. But others like Frank Kaminsky (23 points), Marvin Williams (15 points) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14 points) got pretty much anything they wanted.

For Walker, it was a tale of two halves. He was held in check by Tomas Satoransky in the first half, but broke out in the third quarter and finished with 24 points and seven rebounds. Maybe it was tired legs on the Wizards' part, but Walker just kept dribbling until he got space and once he did, he knocked down shots.

Much like Kyle Lowry did a few weeks ago, Walker made adjustments to find success against Satoransky. We haven't seen that happen much since Wall went out, but those two have given him some trouble. Both guys are considerably smaller than Satoransky and very quick. Maybe there's something to that.

Add it all up and this was one of the worst defensive games of the season for the Wizards. They allowed their most points in a game since Jan. 17 against, you guessed it, the Hornets. Only three times this year have they given up more than what they allowed on Friday.

No Sessions: The Wizards did not debut their newest player on Friday night, which was probably to be expected given Ramon Sessions has not had any practice time yet. That is part of why he didn't play, but it's also another indication that he is unlikely to play much with the Wizards. Sessions is on a 10-day contract and is not expected to supplant either Satoransky or Tim Frazier at point guard. Frazier would seem to be the guy in danger of losing minutes, but it was business as usual for him against the Hornets.

Up next: The Wizards are off Saturday before returning to action at home against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

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