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Rockets Try To Stay Relevant Against Jazz

The Houston Rockets hope to put the brakes on a four-game losing streak when they welcome the Utah Jazz to the Toyota Center tonight.

The Rockets fell to 0-4 in the new year and sustained a 110-95 loss in Orlando Friday night from Amway Center. Kevin Martin, coming off a 45-point night against Portland, had 27 points and Luis Scola added 14 and five rebounds for Houston, which got 10 points apiece from Shane Battier and Chase Budinger.

Houston was done in by a 39-21 difference in the third quarter.

"We hung our heads and they got on a roll," Rockets head coach Rick Adelman said. "You can't do that against a good team on the road."

Adelman's club is 10-6 as the host this season. Rockets guard Aaron Brooks (ankle) is doubtful for Saturday and has missed two straight games. Brooks is averaging 12.1 points and 4.8 assists this season.

Houston forward Chuck Hayes is still nursing a balky ankle. Hayes has missed five games in a row.

Utah, meanwhile, looks to avoid losing three straight games for the first time this season and suffered its second straight loss with Friday's 110-99 setback to the Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum.

Paul Millsap returned to action after missing Wednesday's loss to Atlanta with a bruised right hip by scoring 20 points to lead the Jazz. Deron Williams added 19 points and Al Jefferson scored 16 with a game-high 13 rebounds for Utah, which has dropped four of seven games overall and couldn't control possession for 48 minutes.

"We had 23 turnovers and gave up 27 points off of that. It seemed like we could never get it going," Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan said.

The Jazz have lost two in a row on the road and are 11-6 away from Salt Lake City this season. Utah center Mehmet Okur (back) is listed as doubtful for Saturday and has missed five straight. Okur has played in just four games this season.

Houston and Utah are meeting for the first time since splitting a four-game series a year ago. These two teams have split the previous eight contests in the series, while the Jazz have lost three of four visits to Houston.

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

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.