NBA Game Summary - Houston at New Jersey
(Tuesday, March 29th)
Final Score: Houston 112, New Jersey 87
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Kevin Martin finished with 20 points and the Houston Rockets handled the New Jersey Nets, 112-87, at Prudential Center.
Kyle Lowry posted 16 points and dished out 10 assists for Houston, which is now two games behind the idle Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
Patrick Patterson and Goran Dragic both scored 13 in a reserve role and Chuck Hayes grabbed 14 rebounds to go along with eight points for the Rockets, who have won six of seven.
"We just play. We're just playing good basketball," Lowry said. "Everyone knows their role and everyone knows the type of situation we're going to be in. We're just trying to get as many wins as we possibly can to try to make our push."
Brook Lopez paced New Jersey with a game-high 22 points. Sasha Vujacic scored 11 and Jordan Farmar added 12 with seven assists for the Nets, who played without guard Deron Williams for the sixth straight game as he deals with a strained tendon in his right wrist.
New Jersey has gone 1-5 in his absence and has dropped seven of eight overall.
The game remained close for most of the first quarter, and a Luis Scola layup with 5:23 remaining tied it at 17 for Houston. However, after a Kris Humphries layup 66 seconds later, the Rockets responded with a 22-2 run to create some distance.
"It was a culmination of defensive errors, poor offense, which lead to them having a 34-21 first quarter lead," Nets head coach Avery Johnson said. "Right now with the state of our team, we are not that good to survive early poor starts."
Two Hayes free throws with four minutes remaining in the first period started the spurt, and a Lowry three-pointer with 26.6 seconds remaining gave Houston a 34-21 lead after one. Lowry paced the Rockets with 14 points, including a 3- for-3 effort from long range, in the opening 12 minutes.
The Rockets pushed their lead to 39-21 on Courtney Lee's jumper two minutes into the second quarter, ending the long run. The advantage remained in double-digits throughout the quarter. After the Nets worked their deficit to as low as 48-36 with five minutes remaining, Houston began to pull further away.
After a Lee three-pointer, Martin connected on consecutive baskets a minute later to widen Houston's lead to 55-36. It was up to 20 after a pair of Martin free throws with 30.1 seconds remaining, but Ben Uzoh's layup cut the Rockets' lead to 61-43 entering the locker room.
The Rockets took an 83-63 lead into the fourth and were never threatened after that.
The Rockets are 1-1 on a three-game road trip that concludes in Philadelphia on Wednesday...Houston is 17-21 on the road...The Rockets swept the season series as they topped New Jersey, 123-108, on February 26 in Houston...Chase Budinger finished with 10 points and Jordan Hill contributed 11 in a reserve role for Houston...Uzoh contributed 10 points off New Jersey's bench.
03/30 01:53:11 ET