Rockets host lowly Suns in Space City
(Sports Network) - The Houston Rockets will try to inch up the Western Conference standings on Tuesday night when they welcome the Phoenix Suns to town.
The Rockets are the seventh seed in the Western Conference, just one game behind the Golden State Warriors for sixth. Houston is 2 1/2 games in front of the Utah Jazz, who currently occupy the eighth and final spot out west.
Houston had its three-game winning streak snapped in Denver on Saturday night. The Rockets fell 132-114 as the 132 points allowed was the most since the San Antonio Spurs hung 134 on them in an overtime game on Dec. 10.
"They had 32 points off our turnovers and 18 points off offensive boards. There's no defense for throwing them the ball for layups - that's very hard to overcome," said Rockets coach Kevin McHale.
Jeremy Lin was Houston's leading scorer against the Nuggets with 23 points. Five other Rockets - James Harden, Francisco Garcia, Terrance Jones, Donatas Motiejunas and James Anderson - scored in double figures.
The Rockets allowed the Nuggets to shoot 54.5 percent from the field on Saturday.
Houston has two more at home after Tuesday night, then finishes the season on the road against the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers.
The Suns have lost nine straight, including seven at home. Luckily for them, they only have one game left in Phoenix out of their final five.
On Sunday, the Suns fell to the New Orleans Hornets, 95-92, at US Airways Center.
Phoenix lost the third quarter, 35-19.
"We have to look deeper into it and see what's going on because it's like a trend for us," interim head coach Lindsey Hunter said of his team's poor third-quarter performances. "For a while the thing was closing out quarters for us - that started to be a trend, we couldn't close out quarters. Now it's like coming out, we don't jump back into the game the way you're supposed to."
Markieff Morris led the Suns with 18 points, while Luis Scola added 17 points and 10 rebounds. Jared Dudley had 15 off the bench, followed by 11 from Goran Dragic.
The two teams split this season's matchups with each team prevailing at home. The Suns have dropped three of their last four in Houston.
04/09 10:35:48 ET