(Sports Network) - The Houston Rockets have been playing tremendous basketball recently but still find themselves on the outside, looking in at the Western Conference playoff race as they get ready to host the Sacramento Kings at the Toyota Center.
The Rockets won for the eighth time in 10 games on Sunday when Kevin Martin scored 35 points as Houston overcame a double-digit deficit to post a 114-109 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
Chuck Hayes added 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Rockets, who won their second consecutive overall but still find themselves three games back of both Memphis and New Orleans for one of the final two postseason slots in the Western Conference with just five games to play.
"Every game from now on is huge for us. We just want to stay alive," said Houston's Luis Scola. "All we can do is try to win games."
After tonight the Rockets will visit New Orleans on Wednesday, and can earn a tie in that season series with a win but the Hornets own the tiebreaker with a better record within the Southwest Division. Houston did, however, take the season series with the Grizzlies and would earn a postseason berth if it can somehow catch them in the standings.
The Kings, meanwhile, snapped a two-game slide Sunday when Tyreke Evans scored 24 points and dished out 10 assists to help Sacramento take a 106-97 win over the Utah Jazz in California's capital.
DeMarcus Cousins had 17 points, nine rebounds and six assists while Francisco Garcia also had 17 points for the Kings.
"Well I thought that was a good solid performance by us," said Sacramento head coach Paul Westphal. "We sputtered a little bit, maybe the last six minutes of the first half, but other than that, for the most part, we kept good energy on both ends, we shared the ball, attacked, and it was a professional win."
Houston has won four straight over the Kings and will be attempting to sweep the season series tonight.
Sacramento has dropped nine of 12 trips to Space City.