Lowry's triple-double carries Rockets past Jazz

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The Associated Press
Sunday, March 20, 2011; 10:45 PM

HOUSTON -- Kyle Lowry was looking forward to a good night's sleep after the best game of his career and a draining week for the Houston Rockets.

Lowry had 28 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for Houston's first triple-double of the season, and the first of his career, and the Rockets moved past Utah in the Western Conference standings with a 110-108 victory over the Jazz on Sunday night.

Lowry set a career high in rebounds, and helped the Rockets inch closer to playoff contention in the Western Conference. Houston is now ninth in the Western Conference, a half-game ahead of the Jazz and Phoenix and 1 1/2 games behind Memphis for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.

"The intensity of that game was very competitive," Lowry said. "No one wanted to give in."

Houston has won four home games in the last seven days, and Rockets coach Rick Adelman is giving his team an off day on Monday.

"I can't wait," Lowry said. "I might sleep til 9:30 a.m. Every game has been tough for us - playing, practicing, playing, practicing. It gets to you after a little while, but it's been a good stretch for us."

Kevin Martin went 18 for 18 from the free throw line and scored 34 points, and rookie Patrick Patterson had 14 points and a career-high 13 rebounds for the Rockets.

Chase Budinger left in the second quarter with a sprained left ankle, and was wearing a walking boot after the game. Adelman said that could mean more playing time for Courtney Lee.

Paul Millsap, back after missing five games with left knee tendinitis, scored 35 points, and Al Jefferson had 17 points and 19 rebounds for Utah.

The Jazz have dropped seven of their last nine road games, but have another chance to gain ground in the West standings on Monday, when they face Memphis.

Millsap and Jefferson scored seven points apiece in the third quarter to help the Jazz rally from an early 12-point deficit to trail only 77-75.

Houston held the Jazz without a field goal for more than seven minutes in the fourth quarter, but Millsap's follow of his own miss with 4:43 left cut the Rockets' lead to 89-85.

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