Houston Rockets End Road Trip With A Victory In Utah

Kevin Martin leads the way with 22 points and a key 3-point play later in the game.

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Fallout From The Rockets Victory Over The Jazz

The Rockets just wrapped up a four game trip, so we figured that now would be as good a time as any to kind of take an inventory on the season. A State of Rick Adelman's Union, if you will.

After finishing 1-3 and the quick roadie, the Rockets are now 23-28, five games under .500, but more importantly, four games behind the Portland Trail Blazers for the eighth spot in the Western Conference. Hardly an enviable position, but not one that should cause the fans, or the Rockets themselves, to panic. At least that's what Adelman thinks, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

"I don't see how you can do that as a team if you are trying to accomplish something," Adelman said. "There's 30 games to go. You need to get on a winning streak. The only way to do that is to go out and play. You can't start bemoaning the fact that you lost some games.

"We knew this was going to be a tough trip, and we lost two (games) we were right in."

There are currently three teams that separate the Rockets from the final spot in the playoffs and all of them have faults. It will be difficult to pass Phoenix, Memphis and ultimately Portland, but none of those teams are good enough to write off a playoff appearance for the Rockets. They just need to get back to their winning ways now that they are back home.

Something that will help that chase significantly is if they can get healthy; Yao Ming notwithstanding. Jordan Hill suffered an ankle injury on Tuesday and Feigen is reporting that he will re-evaluated on Friday. Brad Miller has missed the last 14 days with a sore right knee. The athletic trainer is saying that he is day-to-day, but a target return date has not been set. Which says to me that it could still be a while before we see him back on the court.

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Rockets Vs. Jazz: Kevin Martin's Three Point Play Gives Rockets A 97-96 Win

With about a minute and half left in last night's game against the Jazz, it looked like it another crushing defeat might be on the horizon for the Rockets. With the game tied at 94, Paul Millsap got the ball on the left wing and drove to the hoop for the go ahead basket. 96-94 Jazz.

But about a minute of game time later, Kevin Martin took the ball strong to the rim, got a foul called and was able to finish. After the free throw, the Rockets led by one and the Jazz had only 6.9 seconds left to get a game winning shot off. A C.J. Miles shot from the baseline went begging, and after the ball was tipped a few times, the game was over.Rockets win, 97-96.

Sure, Deron Williams wasn't playing for the Jazz tonight, but this is still a good win for the Rockets to end their current four game road trip. 1-3 doesn't look that great, but it looks a whole lot better than 0-4.

Martin finished with 22 points, and was joined by five other Rockets (Scola, Lowry, Hayes, Brooks and Budinger) in double figures.

Check out the Dream Shake for more on this and every Rockets game.

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Rockets Look To Avoid Winless Road Trip In Utah

(Sports Network) - The Utah Jazz will shoot for their third straight home win when they welcome the Houston Rockets tonight to EnergySolutions Arena.

The Jazz have won two of three games since a six-game losing streak and are coming off Monday's 83-78 win over the Charlotte Bobcats in Salt Lake City, as Paul Millsap made two key free throws with 40.5 seconds left to keep the Jazz ahead for good. Millsap ended with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Al Jefferson had 21 points and 11 boards, C.J. Miles scored 20 points and Andrei Kirilenko was busy with 13 points and 11 boards for Utah, which played its third straight game without star point guard Deron Williams (hyperextended right wrist). Williams is questionable for tonight and Kirilenko (ankle) is listed as doubtful. Millsap is questionable with a dislocated finger.

"Well, I thought our guys played hard," Utah head coach Jerry Sloan said. "We played hard, after the game we had last night, it really felt good to watch them play a little harder than what we did. And when you play hard, you always have a chance to win. We made some mistakes, but I can live with that when you're trying to play hard, trying to do some things worthwhile."

Utah is 17-8 as the host this season.

Meanwhile, the Rockets fell to 0-3 on a four-game road trip with last night's 114-106 loss in overtime to the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers from Staples Center.

Luis Scola had 24 points and 15 rebounds for the Rockets, who have lost five of their last seven games and fell to 9-18 away from Space City this season. Kevin Martin scored 30 points and Aaron Brooks ended with 16 and eight assists in a losing cause.

"We didn't make the plays down the stretch and they did," said Houston head coach Rick Adelman. "Our guys played hard all game. We made great plays in regulation to tie it up, but we couldn't finish it. We just didn't do enough to win."

Utah defeated the Rockets by a 103-99 score in overtime on Jan. 8 this season at the Toyota Center, as Millsap scored 12 of his 27 points in the extra period to lead the Jazz, who have won nine of the last 14 games in this series.

The Rockets own just four wins in their previous 26 visits to Salt Lake City.

For more on the Rockets, check out The Dream Shake.

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