Suns end quick trip in Houston

By
Updated: December 4, 2013

(Sports Network) – The Houston Rockets will try to get back on track Wednesday
night when they welcome the Phoenix Suns to the Toyota Center.

The Rockets had a five-game winning streak snapped Monday night when they lost
in Salt Lake City to the Utah Jazz, 109-103. The loss also halted a two-game
road winning streak.

“We just weren’t ready to play,” said head coach Kevin McHale. “They got a big
lead. We kind of fought back a few times and tried to take it from them, but
they gained a lot of confidence and they made some big shots. We could never
get our hands back on the game.”

The Jazz built a 13-point lead after the first quarter and held the Rockets to
48 percent shooting. Utah shot 54.4 percent from the field and 58.8 percent
from beyond the arc.

James Harden led the Rockets with 37 points and eight assists. Dwight Howard
had 15 points and Francisco Garcia, Omri Casspi and Aaron Brooks each scored
13 points.

The Rockets were without Jeremy Lin (sprained right knee) and Chandler Parsons
(back spasms).

“We had plenty of guys to win this game today. It had nothing to do with who
wasn’t there. It’s the guys who were here and how they played,” acknowledged
McHale.

The Suns will complete a two-game road trip Wednesday. Phoenix got pounded by
the Memphis Grizzlies, 110-91 Tuesday at FedExForum in a game where it was
ahead by eight at the half.

Memphis clobbered the Suns, 36-20 in the third quarter to turn an eight-point
deficit into an eight-point lead. The Grizz cruised in the fourth and
outscored Phoenix 64-37 in the second half.

“The second half was terrible … We need a better effort on defense and need
to be tougher,” said Suns coach Jeff Hornacek.

Marcus Morris led the Suns with 18 points, followed by 16 from Goran Dragic,
11 from Miles Plumlee and 10 from Markieff Morris.

The Suns have dropped two in a row to fall back to .500. They allowed the Utah
Jazz their first road victory of the season on Saturday, and head back home
for four of their next five after Wednesday.

The teams split last season’s four matchups with the home team winning each
time. Phoenix has lost two straight and four of its last five in Houston.