SALT LAKE CITY -- The biggest home-court beatdown in Utah Jazz history got out of hand early Monday night and digressed rapidly from there.
From the second quarter on the Houston Rockets looked as sharp as the Jazz looked lethargic and the whole thing culminated in a 125-80 loss at EnergySolutions Arena.
That's a 45-point failure, easily surpassing the 33-point whopping Utah received from the Milwaukee Bucks in November of 1980.
"We were terrible," coach Tyrone Corbin said.
The Jazz (24-21) seemed to be out of step from the opening tip, falling behind 15-6 after five minutes. However, they rallied briefly and tied the game at 22 late in the first quarter before the Rockets (25-22) finished the game on a 103-58 run.
Houston's James Harden scored 25 points in 27 minutes of action and center Omer Asik worked only 25 minutes but still managed to grab 19 rebounds.
In all, six Rockets scored in double figures and they shot 53 percent as a team.
The Jazz, meanwhile, got 12 points from Randy Foye, 11 off the bench from Derrick Favors and 10 from center Al Jefferson.
They shot under 40 percent from the field, managed only two fastbreak points and committed 15 turnovers.
Because the game got out of hand so quickly, Corbin at least was able to turn things over to his younger players, meaning no starter played more than 29 minutes.
Rookie Kevin Murphy scored a career-high nine points.
"It's one loss," Corbin said. "You've got to understand why you lost the game. How did we play? We didn't have a lot of energy, we didn't execute, we didn't get stops, we didn't get back (on defense). Pick your poison. We didn't do anything on the defensive end, we didn't do much on the offensive end."
Under normal circumstances, Jefferson hits the showers immediately after the game, then dresses before speaking to the media. On Monday, he sat in front of his locker, still in uniform, and said he'd take his "whooping" like a man.
And with that he answered questions with brutal honesty.
"It got bad, it got bad and then it got bad again," he said.
Fans inside the arena began booing before halftime, when the Rockets started running and gunning and the Jazz did little to stop them.
Considered one of the NBA's toughest places to play, ESA rumbled with dissatisfaction this time.
As far as Jefferson was concerned, he and his teammates deserved it.
"If I was them I'd have booed us too," he said. "It's not weird. That's what we love about our fans, they're going to tell us the truth. We should have been booing ourselves."
The Jazz played the game without top reserve Gordon Hayward, who sprained his right shoulder in last Saturday's overtime victory over Indiana. Hayward has been averaging 13.5 points per game, providing a critical spark for the team's second unit.
Team officials said he remains day-to-day and will again be reevaluated before the Jazz play host to New Orleans on Wednesday.
In the wake of a historic 45-point beating it seems silly to place too much emphasis on the loss of a single player. In that regard, Hayward's teammates said they missed him but felt they still would have lost without him.
"So many things went wrong," forward Paul Millsap said. "You're going to have nights where nothing goes right for you and everything goes right for the other team. That's what happened tonight."
Granted, it wasn't like Hayward was going to hit a 46-point shot at the end of the game. Still, something seemed out of sync even in the beginning when the score was still close.
"Most definitely G-Time was missed tonight," Jefferson said. "If we had him or (injured point guard) Mo (Williams) and we came out and played the way we played tonight it wouldn't have mattered. We could have had Michael Jordan in his prime and played the way we played tonight and it wouldn't have mattered."