NBA Basketball Picks & Tips: Utah Jazz at Houston Rockets
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
by Joe Rodriguez
The Rockets just finished up a brilliant 4-0 road trip on Monday in Portland when Goran Dragic scored 22 points and dished out seven assists, as Houston defeated the Trail Blazers, 94-89.
Chase Budinger netted 15 points off the bench while Kyle Lowry added 13 points for the Rockets. Marcus Camby, playing his first game in Portland since being traded to Houston at the trade deadline, grabbed 11 rebounds.
Houston started the trek with impressive wins in Chicago and Los Angeles before following that with a 17-point victory in Sacramento and closing with the triumph over the Blazers.
"We've been an awful road team," Budinger said. "Up to this point we haven't won very many road games and it shows where we've gone from the beginning (of the season) until now."
The Rockets are one-half game ahead of the Dallas Mavericks for sixth place in the jumbled Western Conference playoff picture and two games clear of No. 9 Phoenix.
Utah is coming off a big win of its own on Monday when Devin Harris netted a game-high 25 points as the Jazz snapped the San Antonio Spurs' second 11-game winning streak of the year with a 91-84 decision at EnergySolutions Arena.
"It took us a little while to get going, but in the fourth quarter we did what we had to do to win the ballgame," Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin said. "We picked our defense up and thank goodness Devin (Harris) was making some shots down the stretch for us."
Utah is 1 1/2 games behind Denver for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Before the game on Monday, the Jazz announced swingman C.J. Miles is expected to miss at least a week with a strained left calf and guard Earl Watson is out indefinitely with a torn medial meniscus in his right knee.
Houston has split a pair of meetings with the Jazz this season, with each team winning easily on its home floor.
Las Vegas Sports Betting Prediction: Houston 100, Utah 97
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