Sengun’s Career Night Leads Rockets To 127-126 Overtime Win vs. Jazz

Alperen Sengun, Houston Rockets, NBA News
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Alperen Sengun delivered a standout performance with a career-best 37 points and 14 rebounds, propelling the Houston Rockets to a thrilling 127-126 overtime victory against the Utah Jazz during Saturday’s NBA action.

Despite Sengun’s late-game free-throw misses in overtime, the Rockets clinched the win as Jordan Clarkson from Utah failed to convert a mid-range jumper in the final moments. This victory marked an end to Houston’s three-game skid.

Jabari Smith Jr. played a pivotal role, making a crucial free throw with just over 36 seconds left in overtime, nudging Houston ahead 127-126. A significant defensive play came from Amen Thompson, who executed an impressive block against Collin Sexton’s layup, preventing Utah from taking the lead.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Alperen Sengun, Houston Rockets, Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz Updates

Rockets coach Ime Udoka expressed satisfaction with the hard-fought win, highlighting the team’s resilience. Houston’s home record improved to 16-6, starkly contrasting their struggles on the road.

“Those wins are satisfying, no doubt,” Udoka said. “Not just the overtime part but how we gutted it out. A lot of guys got a chance to win a real tough basketball game so it was good for them.”

Clarkson scored 33 points off the bench for Utah, and Sexton contributed 28 points. Walker Kessler and Ochai Agbaji added to the defensive effort with five and three blocks, respectively.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Alperen Sengun, Houston Rockets, Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz Updates

Despite the loss, Clarkson acknowledged the team’s fighting spirit and the close nature of the game.

“We just kept fighting,” Clarkson said. “We gave us an opportunity to win, chances to win. We just couldn’t finish it out tonight, but it was a well-played game.”

Sengun’s free throws tied it up at 115 each at the end of regulation. A missed three-pointer by Sexton sent the game into overtime.

Jazz coach Will Hardy commended his players’ ability to take crucial shots but lamented their inability to secure defensive rebounds as a key factor in their defeat.

“I will live and die with those shots every time,” Hardy said. “Those guys have proven they can make those shots time and time again. But ultimately, not being able to secure defensive rebounds and secure the ball ultimately cost us in that game.”

This win was significant for Houston, marking their first overtime victory since December 2022 and breaking a streak of three consecutive overtime losses this season.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Alperen Sengun, Houston Rockets, Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz Updates

Sengun reflected on the importance of this win, emphasizing the team’s growth and determination to defend their home court.

“I don’t remember if we won in overtime since I’ve been here the past three years,” Sengun said. “So, that meant a lot. We’ve grown up a lot. We played hard, we don’t want to lose in our house, and we got the win.”

Houston held a 61-54 lead at halftime, showing improvement from beyond the arc compared to their recent performances. A heated moment occurred in the third quarter when Utah’s Kris Dunn and Houston’s Jabari Smith Jr. were involved in a scuffle following a hard screen by Dunn, resulting in technical fouls for both players.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Alperen Sengun, Houston Rockets, Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz Updates

Entering the final quarter, the game was tied, with coach Hardy describing their position in the game as miraculous, given the team’s turnovers and Houston’s offensive rebounds.

“It’s a miracle we were even in that game,” Hardy said. “They had 24 offensive rebounds and we had 17 turnovers. It’s a bad recipe for success. But I was really happy with how the team executed down the stretch.”

Looking ahead, the Jazz will face the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night, while the Rockets are set to host the Boston Celtics on Sunday night.

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