Published May 02, 2016
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Rockets shoot for a fourth straight win when they invade Barclays Center Monday to take on the Brooklyn Nets.
The Rockets have won three in a row and four of their last five games, including Saturday's 97-82 triumph over the Utah Jazz. James Harden, the NBA's leading scorer at 26.8 ppg, poured in 30 points on 8-of-14 shooting.
Donatas Motiejunas posted 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Trevor Ariza, Patrick Beverley and Josh Smith scored 10 points apiece for the Rockets, who recorded 38 points off 31 Utah turnovers.
"We picked up our defense the last couple of games," Harden said. "We're catching a rhythm."
Houston is third in opponents' scoring at 96.8 ppg and will also visit Orlando on this short trip east. The Rockets are 13-5 on the road this season.
The Nets look to stop a five-game slide Monday and dropped a 98-93 decision at Detroit on Saturday.
Joe Johnson scored 17 points and both Mason Plumlee and Bojan Bogdanovic added 15 points for Brooklyn. Brook Lopez recorded 11 points and 15 rebounds for the Nets, who shot 42 percent from the floor and made just 9-of-31 3-pointers.
"When you give teams easy, uncontested layups it's hard to win," Plumlee said.
Lopez needs four offensive boards for 1,000 in his career. The Nets are 6-6 with Jarrett Jack running the point for injured guard Deron Williams (rib).
Brooklyn has lost three in a row at home and will also welcome the Memphis Grizzlies to Barclays Center, where it is 8-11 this season.
The Nets and Rockets will play the first of two matchups this season and are slated to meet again Feb. 27 in Space City. Brooklyn and Houston split a pair of contests last season.
The Nets ended a 14-game slide in this series against the Rockets with a 105-96 triumph last April 1 and had dropped the previous 10 encounters as the home team.