Posted March 19, 2013 on
AP on Fox
The Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets sound like desperate teams with 15 games remaining and their postseason fates uncertain.
That's just fine with coaches Tyrone Corbin and Kevin McHale, who hope to see more inspired play when their clubs meet in a crucial matchup Wednesday night in Houston.
Utah (34-33) sits in ninth place in the Western Conference, one game behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the final playoff spot and two back of seventh-place Houston (36-31).
The Jazz have dropped nine of 12, including Monday's 90-83 home loss to undermanned New York. They've shot 38.8 percent over the last three contests and now begin a three-game road trip versus conference foes also battling for playoff positioning.
"Houston's not going to feel sorry for us," Corbin said. "We go to San Antonio (Friday) and then Dallas (Sunday), and those guys aren't going to feel sorry for us, either. If we feel sorry for ourselves, it's going to be a long trip. We have to pick ourselves up and lay everything we have out there on the floor."
Gordon Hayward scored 17 points Monday for the second straight game - his first two starts after coming off the bench for his previous 45 appearances.
"Houston is a team right there with us in the race and we've got to go in there and steal one from them," Hayward said. "It's going to be a big game for us."
The Rockets have been inconsistent recently and suffered the consequences in a 108-78 home loss to Golden State on Sunday. One of the league's highest-scoring teams averaging 106.5 points, Houston was held to its lowest total of the season.
Houston's edge in the playoff race is slim, and McHale said it will need to get better down the stretch if it plans to improve its seeding after it fell two games behind the sixth-place Warriors.
"We have 15 games left. We've got to be desperate," McHale said. "We've got to come out more ready to play and we've got to come out with an edge."
Houston had eight turnovers to five assists in the first half Sunday and also started slowly in Friday's 108-100 win over Minnesota, having to overcome a 20-point deficit.
"I think the starting unit has to look at themselves," McHale said. "It starts with me and this next game against Utah has to be we're going to do whatever it takes to get out to an early lead."
The Rockets weren't in any danger the last time they faced the Jazz, leading by as many as 50 points while holding them to 39.5 percent shooting in a 125-80 road victory Jan. 28.
James Harden, who ranks among the league leaders averaging 26.3 points, hit 8 of 15 shots and scored 25 as all of Houston's starters sat the entire fourth quarter.
"We could have had Michael Jordan in his prime with us and it wouldn't have mattered," Jazz center Al Jefferson said after that contest.
Utah also fell 124-116 at Houston on Dec. 1 and is 10-24 on the road. It has dropped a season-worst six straight and nine of 10 away from home while averaging 86.3 points over the last three. The Jazz last lost seven in a row on the road Dec. 4-19, 2007.
"We've got to continue to fight. Forget the road, we just have to win games, period," said forward Paul Millsap, who is averaging only 10.5 points over his last four games. "We know what we're all about, we've just got to get out there and show it.
"We still believe we can make a run, and I feel like we will do it."
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Royce White thinks the Houston Rockets and the NBA in general want him to just go away.
The Houston Rockets rookie said this in an interview with the Huffington Post, the latest in a seemingly unending series of interviews with various media outlets in which White, a first-round pick in the 2012 NBA draft, casts himself as a trailblazing, truth-telling everyman going to war with...
Royce White is one of those people who get in their own way. White’s issues with the Houston Rockets organization this season have been well documented. White finally returned to the court in February to the Rockets D League affiliate team. White has once again come out faulting the Houston Rockets organization. White believes that in addition to the Rockets, the NBA, David Stern...
HOUSTON The best news these days in Houston is no news. The Rockets are jamming along in seventh place in the Western Conference, and the last thing they need is drama. Drama means trouble.
There was no drama Wednesday at Toyota Center. There almost was. The Rockets never trailed and led by 26 points at the crest of the evening, but it wouldn't have been a Rockets game if some...
Ticket misprints are something that do happen from time to time in the realm of the National Basketball Association and the fine folks over at the Utah Jazz had a classic misprint.Check out the below ticket from Energy Solutions Arena which shows the Jazz facing off against the cast of "Disney On Ice":Apparently, the blunder occurred since there was a ticket plan that allowed...
I want Royce White to address why he doesn’t use condoms and has 2 kids and 2 more kids on the way. Let’s talk about that instead of his whining about how everyone is out to get him.
The Rockets have bent over backwards to accommodate White and he is still acting like a spoiled brat.
“I went through the bumps and bruises of having to advocate for myself against a billion-dollar...
HOUSTON (AP) — – Before Wednesday night's game against the Utah Jazz, Houston coach Kevin McHale got his team together and explained the possible implications for the postseason., http://juicedsportsblog.com/sports-news/news/rockets-100-jazz-93-yahoo-sports
James Harden had 29 points and the Houston Rockets improved their positioning in the Western Conference playoff race with a 100-93 win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.
Jeremy Lin added 24 for the Rockets, who currently hold the No. 7 spot in the West. They lead the idle Los Angeles Lakers by 1 1/2 games and are three ahead of the sliding Jazz.
The Rockets led by 19 points...
By way of the Sports Kings comes either the greatest misprint of all time, or the one NBA game of the season you can’t afford to miss.So many questions. Do they play on a court, or on ice? It says Disney is still “on ice.” Furthermore, if Ariel from The Little Mermaid has no legs, does that make her better or worse at scoring points than Earl Watson? Does the winner go...
By, Kenneth Teape – Knickswag Contributor
Pre-Game News and Notes
Knicks vs. Jazz: ESPN, MSG 10:30PM
This west coast road trip has gone as bad as a stretch of games could possible go as the Knicks have been blown out of basically every game. They have had good stretches of play, staying in a few of the games for the most part but never being able to put together four strong quarters...