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Rockets Look To Win Fourth In A Row In New Orleans

(Sports Network) - The Houston Rockets hope they're clicking at the right time as they battle for a playoff berth in the Western Conference. Tonight the Rockets will begin a three-game road trip against the New Orleans Hornets.

Houston is four games off the eighth and final postseason spot in the West and will also visit the Blazers and Clippers. It is 13-18 away from Space City this season and recorded a 123-108 victory over New Jersey last night from the Toyota Center.

Kevin Martin finished with a game-high 30 points and Chase Budinger netted 27 for the Rockets, winners of three straight games.

"It was a good win," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "We came out with a lot of energy and we defended them better after the second quarter. We were kind of up and down the whole first quarter, but offensively we were pretty good all night long."

Luis Scola contributed 23 points and seven rebounds, while Kyle Lowry and Courtney Lee netted 10 points apiece in the win.

New Orleans is currently fifth in the conference standings and has won two in a row since a three-game slide.

The Hornets posted a 95-81 triumph at Minnesota on Friday, as Trevor Ariza led the way with 18 points and All-Star guard Chris Paul registered 17 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Jarrett Jack scored 13 points off the bench for New Orleans.

"It was a big win for us," Ariza said. "They beat us pretty bad sometimes and in order for us to get where we want to go we have to be prepared."

Hornets center Emeka Okafor returned to the lineup after missing 10 games with a hip problem and posted 10 points with seven rebounds. Power forward David West did not play for personal reasons and is probable versus Houston. After tonight's game the Hornets, who are 21-8 at home, will hit the road for five games against Toronto, New York, Memphis, Cleveland and Chicago.

New Orleans has beaten Houston twice already this season and is aiming for its sixth straight victory in the series. The Rockets have dropped six of eight visits to the Big Easy.

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

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