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Rockets Try To Go Over .500 Again In Sacramento

(Sports Network) - The Houston Rockets hope to climb above .500 for the first time this season when they kick off a brief two-game road trip in California's capital Monday by taking on the Sacramento Kings.

The Rockets, who will finish the quick trek in Phoenix on Tuesday, won for the sixth time in seven games on Saturday and improved to 32-32 overall when Kevin Martin scored 20 points in a 112-95 victory over the Indiana Pacers in south Texas.

Chase Budinger and Kyle Lowry added 18 points apiece and Luis Scola scored 16 for the Rockets, who are in 11th place in the West, three games behind Memphis for the final playoff spot.

Houston led by as many as 28 points against the Pacers, bouncing back in convincing fashion from a streak-busting loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

"It was a bounce-back win and it gives us confidence to get our swagger back," said Lowry.

The Kings, meanwhile, lost for the fourth time in five tries on Saturday, a 109-102 overtime setback in Salt Lake City.

Marcus Thornton posted 22 points while DeMarcus Cousins and Francisco Garcia each had 18 points for the Kings, who have lost and 12 of 15 overall. Beno Udrih chipped in 16 points and six assists. Cousins also had 18 rebounds and seven assists.

"In the overtime, we needed to execute the play," Kings head coach Paul Westphal said. "Even out of a time out, we didn't really execute it and we lacked getting a shot. Sometimes that can be a difference in a game that's that close. One play here, one play there."

Sacramento remains without reigning Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans due to a case of plantar fasciitis in his left foot. The team is 3-11 in Evans' absence this season and went 2-8 without him a year ago.

Houston has won three straight over the Kings, including a pair of meetings so far this season.

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

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