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Rockets focus on defensive improvement after tough road trip

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    FILE - In this Dec. 22, 2012, file photo, Houston Rockets' Jeremy Lin (7) talks with coach Kevin McHale during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies in Houston. Two weeks ago, the Rockets were one of the league's highest-scoring teams. They've failed to hit 100 points in half their games since, and Lin is in a major slump. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File) (The Associated Press)

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    Houston Rockets head coach Kevin McHale, left, argues a call with referee David Guthrie, right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. Houston won 100-94. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton) (The Associated Press)

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    Houston Rockets' James Harden (13) dunks above Charlotte Bobcats' Gerald Henderson (9) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. Houston won 100-94. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton) (The Associated Press)

The Houston Rockets have had a demanding start to 2013, with nine of their first 12 games on the road. They snapped a seven-game losing streak with an ugly win in Charlotte on Monday and were finally back on their own practice floor Tuesday.

Where to begin?

The Rockets averaged 115.8 points during a five-game winning streak from Dec. 31-Jan. 8. They've averaged only 94.1 points in the eight games since, and lead the league in turnovers (16.5 per game) heading into Wednesday's game against Denver.

Coach Kevin McHale doesn't see the offense as the Rockets' most glaring issue at the moment. Houston also ranks last in points allowed (103.23 points per game), and fixing the defense is McHale's most immediate priority just past the season's midpoint.