Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 3/21/13
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 shoddy defense didn't allow an undead foe to spring back out of the coffin just as the dirt was hitting the lid. Utah got it down to five points with 1:29 left, but the Rockets scored the next two baskets and soon enough Kool and the Gang was urging everyone to celebrate good times. Houston 100, Utah 93. No drama. "Coach (Kevin McHale) was explaining the mathematics and the importance of this one," Rockets forward Chandler Parsons said, "understanding the tiebreaker and the seeding and all that." The Rockets (37-31) left Wednesday's game just as they entered it in seventh place and one night closer to the playoffs. Maintenance is really the main goal around here these days. Nobody thinks this team is winning a championship, so the difference between seventh place and sixth or eighth place is academic (fifth place is out of the question). They put a little more space between themselves and the Jazz (34-34), who are in ninth place, a game and a half behind the Lakers for the final playoff spot and two games ahead of 10th-place Dallas with 14 games left to play. But now that the Rockets have a core in place James Harden, Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik it is important they get that taste of the playoffs the organization hasn't had since Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming were the headliners. So boring nights like Wednesday night are good nights. And now we get to the business of how the Rockets did it. Harden, of course, scored a bunch. He got 29 points on 14 field goal attempts, hitting 17 of 18 free throws. Performances like that are the caffeine in Houston's coffee. For sugar and cream, you can add Jeremy Lin's 24 points, Carlos Delfino's nine off the bench or Omer Asik's 12 rebounds. Without Gordon Hayward the Jazz wouldn't even have been competitive. They scored just 33 points in the first half, which was one fewer point than any Houston opponent has scored in a half all season. Hayward scored 22 of his 27 points in the second half and it was Hayward's free throws that cut Houston's lead to five at the 1:29 mark. But this was not Utah's night. It shouldn't have been. It didn't deserve to be. "It's hard to dig yourself out of a hole on somebody else's court," Jazz big man Al Jefferson said. The Rockets' perspective was a little different, of course. The way they saw it the Jazz totally could have dug itself out of a hole on Houston's home court, and the Rockets would have had nobody to blame but themselves. "We started nursing the lead, which you can't do that," McHale said. McHale mentioned that he is still trying to figure out what to do with forwards Donatas Motiejunas and Thomas Robinson, neither of whom was in the rotation a month ago. That had something to do with it, especially on defense, and especially against a team that likes to feed the post the way the Utah does. Couple of rookies, basically. And maybe on some other night against some other team, the Rockets would have paid the price for that. Maybe things get a little more dramatic, which is to say bad. But not Wednesday. "We had gotten down by 20 in the last two games in the first half," Lin said. "So we wanted to make sure tonight that we build the lead for once so we weren't always playing uphill."
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Repot: NFL to investigate Aldon Smith over Periscope video

Report: Fitzpatrick given ‘multiple contract offers’ from Jets

A-Rod: Ortiz deserves Fenway statue, street named after him

Report: Bosh's camp 'angry and suspicious of Heat's intentions'

JJ Watt pens dramatic letter to fans about back injury


Le’Veon Bell vows to win appeal: ‘I’m not going to miss games’

Dallas Cowboys' team employee bus involved in fatal crash

Aldon Smith posts video under a pseudonym of a blunt on Periscope

WATCH: Cam Newton get blocked by a girl playing volleyball

Russia avoids complete ban from Rio Olympics by the IOC

Report: Padres trying to move Andrew Cashner, Derek Norris

KD, Draymond Green booed in L.A. during Team USA exhibition

Top storyline for each NFL team heading into training camp

Eight MLB veterans that need to be traded before deadline

Andre the Giant drank six bottles of wine before match?

Cristiano Ronaldo spars with Conor McGregor in gym

Adam Silver is the new standard-bearer for league commisioners

Iowa football player held at gunpoint by police while playing Pokemon Go

Eight most significant injuries going into NFL training camp

Man. U players banned from playing 'Pokemon Go?'

Ken Griffey Jr. put on backwards hat during HOF speech

Mike Piazza honors 9/11 victims during Hall of Fame speech

Jeremy Lin hints he is racially profiled by arena employees

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker