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Utah went almost four

von jokergreen0220 | 1.402 Beiträge

TORONTO - DeMar DeRozan has become a student of the game in his absence with a groin injury, soaking in lessons from the sidelines that he says will make him a better player. Houston Rockets Jerseys . The Toronto Raptors, however, will have to wait a little while longer to see the fruits of his labour. The Raptors are playing it safe with DeRozan, who originally had hoped to play Thursday versus the visiting Charlotte Hornets, but said he is now targeting some time next week for his return. Just coming and practising the last couple of days, just getting back involved, letting my teammates know Im back out there, I owe that to them not to just jump back in a game, I want to get a couple more practices in over these next couple of days, then come back, DeRozan said Wednesday. DeRozan has been out of the lineup since he tore his groin tendon Nov. 28 against the Dallas Mavericks. He underwent more diagnostic tests on Tuesday and was cleared by doctors. He said he is pain free. It hasnt been an easy six weeks for the Raptors all-star, who had missed just 11 games total over his previous five seasons in the NBA. But the 25-year-old is always looking at ways to improve his game — including writing out his ABCs with his left hand last summer in an effort to improve his weaker hand. Its definitely been tough, but its a new challenge for me, DeRozan said. Ive grown more mentally, when it comes to basketball, (than) if I hadnt been hurt. . . Just watching the game and really understanding the game from a different level, understanding the things that I could do out there on the court that could affect the game, other ways I could figure out how to be better on the court. The Raptors (24-10) are third in the NBAs Eastern Conference behind first-place Atlanta and Chicago. In DeRozans absence, theyve plummetted from ninth place in the league defensively to 28th. Coach Dwane Casey said he had hoped to see DeRozan back Thursday — fingers crossed, toes crossed — but agrees with the decision to play it safe. He looks good in practice, but just for his safety and his future health, and his career, were going to be prudent as far as making sure we go at the right pace, bring him back at the right time, and its the right thing to do, Casey said. I know it kills him because hes champing at the bit, but Ive seen so many players have this same injury in their career, and you think youre back, but if those fibres have not grown back and matured in the right way, the least little torque could pull it out and hes out the rest of the year. So we want to be smart. DeRozan, who is averaging 19.4 points and 4.2 rebounds a game, rejoined practice last week, but said he would like about seven under his belt before stepping into a game. I think its bigger than me, he said. And, besides the last couple games the team lost, theyve been playing well. They have their rhythm and like I said, I dont just want to hop back out there. Theres a lot of new plays they put in that Ive still got to get down pat — plays for (Terrence Ross), plays for Kyle (Lowry) . . . So I want to make sure I get all that down pat before I come back. DeRozan had kind words for Lowry, who was named the Eastern Conference player of the month for December. Hes been amazing, man, honestly, DeRozan said. I cant even say words that can explain how hes been playing. He definitely took the team on his back. DeRozan said its been funny to watch Lowry running plays that would normally be his. Hes playing my position, so next game, every play he runs is my play. . . Just tell him, stop running my plays, DeRozan said. It kind of (makes) me happy though. . . but I tell them One thing yall cant do is get to the free throw line. The Raptors are averaging about seven fewer free throw attempts per game without DeRozan. His value in getting to the free throw line is one of those lessons that he said has really sunk in, watching his team from the sidelines. Especially in late-game situations with the game going too fast, I understand youve got to get to the free throw line, slow down the momentum, try to switch the momentum to our end, DeRozan said. DeRozan will rejoin the Raptors right before the balloting for the NBA all-star game concludes. He believes he and Lowry would have both been all-stars if not for his injury, but is certain Lowry will be named to the East team. Lowry was fourth among Eastern Conference guards on the most recent balloting. Hes in there. If he dont get in there with votes, hell get in there no matter what, DeRozan said, in reference to the fact coaches vote in the reserves. Hes been snubbed a couple of times in his career. I know hes in there so I dont need to send a vote or nothing. I know hes going to be in there. Robert Horry Jersey . Off-season additions Jermain Defoe and Michael Bradley did not train with the club today, prompting Nelsen to declare its too early to tell if either will be ready for Saturday. James Harden Rockets Jersey . Early in the first period, Stuart pinched in from the blue line, hit Nash and was assessed a minor penalty for elbowing. Nash remained in the game for the rest of the first period, but did not return for the second. http://www.therocketsofficial.com/Authentic-Steve-Francis-Rockets-Jersey/ . -- Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf has been suspended two games for his hit from behind on Kevan Miller of the Bruins. HOUSTON -- Houston coach Kevin McHale worried that his team might come out flat Monday night against the struggling Utah Jazz after dropping a close game to the Heat in Miami a day before. His fears were completely unwarranted. Terrence Jones scored 30 points and the Rockets ended a three-game skid with their most lopsided victory of the season, a 124-86 win over the Jazz. "Theres got to be an emphasis on how we play and improving," McHale said. "Its really important that we keep improving and getting better." Dwight Howard was out with an ankle strain, leaving the Rockets without him for the first time this season. But they still had no problem handling the Jazz, who have lost five in a row and have one of the worst records in the Western Conference. Houston was up by 19 at halftime and 13 points by Jones in the third quarter helped push the lead to 92-69 entering the fourth. "We just wanted to be aggressive," Jones said. "Coming off three tough ones we wanted to come out and have a lot of energy and just get back to playing ... the way we had been playing." The big lead allowed an overworked James Harden, who had played more than 43 minutes in three of the previous four games, to rest a bit as he watched the fourth quarter from the bench. Harden finished with 15 points. Houston used a 15-0 run starting midway through the fourth quarter with all their starters on the bench except for Jones to push the already lopsided game to a 40-point advantage. Jordan Hamilton had seven points for Houston during the run. Derrick Favours had 15 points for the Jazz a night after scoring a career-high 28. "This is a lesson for the young guys," Jazz coach Ty Corbin said. "They have to learn to get ready every night. Tonight, we just couldnt get it going. It was like we were running in mud and couldnt get ourselves out of it." It was unclear when Howard was injured, but the team announced the mild strain to his left ankle about 40 minutes before tipoff. He had been the only Rockets player to start every game this season before missing Mondays game. Omer Asik started in his place and finished with 12 poiints and 11 rebounds. Austin Rivers Rockets Jersey. Houston got back on track after an 0-3 road trip for its first three-game losing streak of the season. The losses came at Oklahoma City, Chicago and Miami and followed a great stretch in which the Rockets won five straight over some of the Eastern Conferences best teams. "Weve been playing well and were confident in each and how weve been playing," Harden said. "The last three games have been a slip up, but overall I think were in a good place." Patrick Beverley scored 19 and Jeremy Lin had 17 for the Rockets, who are second to San Antonio in the Southwest Division. Jones opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer and scored the first nine points of the second half for Houston to extend the lead to 69-47. Asik had a dunk for the Rockets before Jones added four more points to leave Houston up 75-51. Favours made two free throws for the Jazz midway through the quarter before Beverley scored four points for the Rockets to stretch the lead to 26 points. Utah finally found some offence after, scoring eight straight points with the first six from Alec Burks to cut the lead to 79-61. The Jazz cut the lead to seven on a 3-pointer by Richard Jefferson with about 9 1/2 minutes left in the first half. Houston used a 13-2 spurt to stretch the lead to 47-29 about 3 1/2 minutes later. Lin and Beverley scored all of Houstons points in that span with Beverley scoring eight and Lin adding the rest. Utah went almost four minutes without scoring before a layup by Favours with four minutes left in the second quarter. Houston led 60-41 at halftime. The Rockets were up by two points with three minutes left in the first quarter before using an 8-2 run to close out the period and extend their lead to 28-20. NOTES: Houston F Omri Casspi missed the game with the flu. ... The Jazz won 109-103 in the last meeting with Houston this season. ... Houstons Francisco Garcia and Utahs John Lucas got into a scuffle as the game ended and pushed each other before they were separated and both led off the court. ... The Rockets shot 58.2 per cent and had 30 fast-break points, which were both season highs. ' ' '

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