Gordon Hayward didn't scream or selfishly indulge, talk trash about the Rockets or pump himself up. He simply sounded confident. Assured. Like his season- and game-high 29 points were exactly what he was supposed to produce during one of the biggest nights of his professional career. As if the Jazz expected all along for their second-year small forward to be the primary force carrying them closer to the playoffs with a 103-91 victory against Houston at Toyota Center.

Hayward was fantastic Wednesday. He expertly played within Utah's offense, scoring 29 points on 14 shots. The No. 9 overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft drained 4 of 5 3-pointers, shooting without hesitation and producing a smooth, high-arcing shot. And the former Butler standout continued to make Jazz General Manager Kevin O'Connor look prescient.