Surging Rockets visit struggling Jazz
Two teams currently heading in opposite directions square off tonight in Salt Lake City, as the surging Houston Rockets head west to take on the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena.
The Rockets have won four in a row and will play six of the next eight games away from Space City. They completed a six-game homestand with Tuesday's 88-85 victory over the Toronto Raptors and received a game-best 26 points from Kyle Lowry and 15 points and 10 rebounds out of Luis Scola. Kevin Martin and Samuel Dalembert rounded out the double-digit scorers with 14 and 10, respectively, for Houston, which went 5-1 on the residency and has won eight of 11 overall.
"Our team has come together so well that we have the faith in each other to make the plays and make the right plays and right decisions for each other to try to win games," said Lowry.
Houston has dropped two in a row on the road and is just 6-10 outside of the Toyota Center, as opposed to a strong 15-4 home record.
The Jazz are in the same boat with an uneven contrast of success on the road and at home, and are 12-6 in Salt Lake City. They are a lowly 3-12 as the guest and suffered their fourth straight loss at Sacramento on Tuesday.
Devin Harris paced the Jazz with 18 points and seven assists, while Josh Howard netted 15 points and pulled down seven boards for Utah, which fell to 3-11 this month.
"It's just frustrating. It's a game we feel like we should have won," remarked Harris after the game. "Obviously, we let the last couple slip in the last couple minutes of the game. The hard lesson is learned, but hopefully we don't have to learn too many more of them."
C.J. Miles scored 13 points as a reserve, Al Jefferson totaled 12 points and eight boards and Paul Millsap contributed just four points in defeat.
Utah has lost five in a row on the road and will also host Miami on its quick two-game homestand.
The Jazz recently dropped a 101-85 decision at Houston on Feb. 19. Lowry led the way in that one with 32 points and Scola posted 26 and nine rebounds. Jefferson and Millsap finished with 23 and 22 points, respectively, for the Jazz, losers in three straight and four of the past five meetings between the two clubs.
Houston has lost 22 of its last 27 games as the visitor in this series.