Houston at Utah

Martin helps no-quit Rockets move past Jazz

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SALT LAKE CITY -- Houston coach Rick Adelman admitted it wasn't pretty.

But after a three-game losing streak, he didn't care.

"It was just a great win, a win we really needed," Adelman said of the Rockets' come-from-behind 97-96 victory over the short-handed Utah Jazz on Wednesday.

Down 96-94, Shane Battier got the ball inside to Kevin Martin, who scored on a layup with 6.9 seconds left despite being fouled by Jazz center Al Jefferson. Martin completed the three-point play to put Houston ahead.

C.J. Miles missed a last-second shot that would have won it for the Jazz, who were without starters Deron Williams and Andrei Kirilenko as well as reserve center Mehmet Okur. Combined the three players account for 39.1 points and 11.4 rebounds for the Jazz.

Though Utah seemingly had it won several times, Martin and the Rockets refused to quit.

"Shane was the quarterback right there and I was the wide receiver and I was in triple coverage," Martin said of the winning play. "It was just like the Giants when they beat the Patriots [in Super Bowl]. Shane made a great pass and that was the only place he could have put it, and I just threw something up and it went in."

Jefferson was equally amazed the shot fell.

"That could have been an easy steal because he really didn't have control of the ball except for that split second he got it and made a big play," Jefferson said of Martin. "They really wanted it more and they got it."

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Jefferson and Paul Millsap scored 20 points apiece to lead the Jazz, while Earl Watson finished with 11 points, nine rebounds and eight assists starting his fourth straight game in place of Williams.

"It's definitely tough on your home floor," said Miles, who added 18 points off the bench. "Kyle Lowry hit some big shots, some big 3s, that kept them in there. ... And then, when you have that look at it to win the game, it makes it even tougher."

Utah (29-21) outscored Houston 19-7 over the final six minutes of the third quarter to take an 82-79 lead into the fourth.

But the Jazz couldn't match the Rockets from beyond the arc.

Houston made 11 of 22 on the night, while the Jazz were just 1 of 11 on 3-pointers. Watson was 0 for 4 from beyond the arc, including a key late miss with the Jazz clinging to a 96-94 lead.

Jazz coach Jerry Sloan refused to blame injuries on the loss, their eighth in the past 10 games.

"[Houston] was short-handed as well," Sloan said of the Rockets, who were without Jordan Hill. "I thought they outrebounded us a couple times in crucial situations and came up with the ball. That's when we've got to be a little bit tougher. I think our guys are always trying to fight back. I don't think they are lacking desire. They played as hard as they could, but made a few mistakes that cost us the ballgame."

Lowry added 16 points for the Rockets and made 4 of 5 from beyond the arc.

The Rockets had six players in double figures, with Chuck Hayes adding 13 points and 12 rebounds.

After trailing by nine points early in the fourth, the Rockets came back with 3-pointers by Aaron Brooks and Lowry to take a 91-88 lead.

Utah tied it at 92 on a layup by Millsap, and again at 94 after a steal by Miles. Millsap put Utah ahead 96-94 with 1:25 left after a key rebound by Jefferson.

But the Jazz couldn't seal it.

Martin said the play was the exact one drawn up on the sideline, though it didn't unfold quite so easily.

"It's not going to go as smooth in the game as it is on the chalkboard when coach draws it up, but that's our fourth-quarter play," Martin said. "We won many games on that earlier in the season, so we brought it back. It's a great play."

Notes

  • Jazz G Williams saw hand specialist Dr. Steve Huish on Wednesday. An examination of an MRI confirmed a strained tendon and he remains day to day.
  • Gordon Hayward started at forward in place of Kirilenko and was 4 of 4 for 10 points.
  • The Rockets led 30-26 after the first quarter thanks to 61.1 percent (11 of 16) shooting.
  • The Jazz had a 19-4 edge in second-chance points.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
 
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Kevin Martin draws a foul while sinking the game-tying shot with 6.9 ticks left. Martin converts on the FT to help Houston win. (Getty Images)
Kevin Martin draws a foul while sinking the game-tying shot with 6.9 ticks left. Martin converts on the FT to help Houston win. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Houston (23-28) «3024251897
Utah (29-21)2629271496
HOU:K. Martin 22 Pts
HOU:C. Hayes 12 Reb
HOU:K. Lowry 5 Ast
UTA:A. Jefferson 20 Pts
UTA:A. Jefferson 12 Reb
UTA:E. Watson 8 Ast
Players of the Game
HoustonUtah

Kyle Lowry

Al Jefferson
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
166520122
Houston
C. Hayes, PF414-85-8122313
L. Scola, PF375-124-474314
K. Martin, SG336-137-703022
K. Lowry, PG326-100-065416
S. Battier, SF292-41-45336
A. Brooks, PG246-120-022214
C. Budinger, SF194-111-250310
P. Patterson, PF130-30-00110
C. Lee, SG70-10-01010
J. Jeffries, PF51-20-01022
B. Miller, CDid Not Play
Y. Ming, CDid Not Play
J. Hill, PFDid Not Play
T. Williams, SGDid Not Play
I. Smith, PGDid Not Play
Totals 34-7618-2539202297
 44.7%72.0% 
Utah
E. Watson, PG455-121-298211
A. Jefferson, C408-164-5122420
P. Millsap, PF378-164-6112320
R. Bell, SG312-50-02234
G. Hayward, SF154-42-310310
C. Miles, SF346-185-644318
R. Price, PG191-70-01022
J. Evans, SF114-40-02028
F. Elson, C81-41-12013
A. Kirilenko, SFDid Not Play
M. Okur, CDid Not Play
D. Williams, PGDid Not Play
K. Fesenko, CDid Not Play
Totals 39-8617-2344182396
 45.3%73.9% 
Other Games
Tor 87 Final
Atl 100
Ind 117 Final
Cle 112
Phi 106 Final
NJ 92
Char 97 Final
Det 87
Dal 113 Final
NY 97
Mem 102 Final
Min 84
NO 93 Final
OKC 104
Port 90 Final
Den 109
Mil 77 Final
Pho 92
Chi 106 Final
LAC 88