Clarkson scores 22 points, NBA-leading Jazz beat Rockets

Houston Rockets center Christian Wood (35) puts up a shot past Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 21, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke, Pool)
Houston Rockets center Christian Wood (35) puts up a shot past Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 21, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke, Pool) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

HOUSTON – Jordan Clarkson scored 22 points, Joe Ingles had 21 and the NBA-leading Utah Jazz beat the Houston Rockets 112-89 on Wednesday night.

The Jazz have won four of their last five games. The 23-point margin was Utah’s most-lopsided victory over Houston since a 118-91 blowout Dec. 6, 2018.

Clarkson and Ingles are both contenders for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award. While Clarkson provided his usual high-energy spark off the bench, Ingles got the start on Wednesday night.

“I’ve never in my life thought about it,” Ingles said about his front-runner status. “I don’t know if he does. We’ve never had a conversation about it. It doesn’t affect me or my thought going into a game, and I’d feel pretty confident saying the same for (Clarkson). We take pride in our role of coming off the bench.”

With Donovan Mitchell out at least the next week with a right ankle sprain, Jazz coach Quin Snyder said everyone has stepped up, including Ingles.

“I don’t think his minutes are dictating how he’s playing, whether he’s starting or finishing,” Snyder said. “I just want him to play a certain way, and that’s what he’s doing right now. Any time certain players are out, guys feel that, they understand, and they know they need to be more aggressive. The thing that he’s done the best is, he’s been able to adjust to those things, whether he’s starting or coming off the bench.”

Rudy Gobert had 19 points, 18 rebounds and two blocks for Utah, Mike Conley had 11 points and 13 assists, Bojan Bogdanovic scored 14 points, and Georges Niang added 13. Conley had his fourth straight game with double-digit assists after previously reaching that mark only twice this season.

“I’ve never really been a part of a team like this in my career,” Conley said. “I’ve got a lot of options.”