Rockets take postseason push to Sacramento

6:50 AM, Apr 8, 2012   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - The Houston Rockets could be getting a big boost to their late season playoff push Sunday when they visit the Sacramento Kings.

Starting point guard Kyle Lowry could be back in the lineup when the Rockets kick off a stretch of four games against teams on the outside, looking in at the playoff picture.

Lowry, who is averaging career highs of 15.9 points and 7.2 assists, has missed 15 games while recovering from a bacterial infection but returned to practice earlier this week and is close to returning. .

Houston, which has also been playing without Lowry's backcourt mate Kevin Martin (shoulder), has moved to sixth in the Western Conference with impressive back-to-back road wins in Chicago and against the LA Lakers.

Most recently Luis Scola scored 10 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter on Friday as the Rockets outlasted the Lakers, 112-107, at Staples Center.

Goran Dragic, Lowry's replacement, added 26 points and 11 assists while Marcus Camby contributed 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Rockets, who won for the sixth time in nine games overall.

"Scola was really good. He made shot after shot and Goran was fantastic. This team will always lay it on the line," Rockets head coach Kevin McHale said.

The Kings, meanwhile, have lost three straight, including both ends of a home- and-home set against the LA Clippers.

DeMarcus Cousins paced Sacramento in LA on Saturday with 15 points and 20 rebounds but the Kings fell 109-94. Tyreke Evans finished with 14 points while Francisco Garcia recorded 13 for Sacramento before leaving the game early in the fourth quarter with a concussion.

"Chris Paul is a wonder," Kings head coach Keith Smart said of the Clips point guard, who amassed 19 points, 15 assists and seven steals on Saturday. "He got us a couple of times and [Blake Griffin] was able to get in transition and was able to get easy shots."

Houston has won two straight and six of seven over the Kings.

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