The Utah Jazz are having a resurgent season currently sitting at 4th place in the Western Conference playoff race. While they likely won't catch the Rockets for the 3rd seed (5+ games back), a win in Houston on Wednesday night can keep the surging Clippers at bay.
The Jazz have a game lead over Los Angeles for the #4 seed in the West – a spot that is important because of home court advantage in the first round. Utah went only 5-5 over a 10 game stretch the past two weeks and it may be hard to right the ship in Houston where the Rockets are 23-8 this year. The Jazz aren't horrible on the road, however, sporting a 17-12 record away from Salt Lake City this season.
Houston has an outside chance at catching San Antonio, or possibly even the Warriors for the top 2 seeds in the Western Conference playoffs. Coach Mike D'Antoni may be content at standing pat in the third seed however in preserving energy not trying to make up the 7 and 5 game differences.
The Rockets have been hot post the All-Star break winning 4 out of their first 5 games since the weekend in New Orleans. They are 8-2 overall in their last 10, seemingly peaking at the right time of the season.
Not only do the Jazz have to go to the Toyota Center to try and steal a win, they have to do so with their 3rd game in 4 nights. A trip to Sacramento, back home to face the Pelicans, and then back to Houston is not what Utah needs as they try to maintain home-court for the first round of the playoffs.
The Rockets, on the other hand, should be well rested. Houston is coming off a road game on March 6, but only 2+ short hours away in San Antonio. That being said, the Jazz have shown they match up well with Houston in their prior meeting this season, notching a 120-101 win in Utah back at the end of November.
There are no obvious trends pointing towards a total lean in this game so it's a decision on the side. Houston is hotter recently, playing great at home, and has the travel schedule benefit over Utah in this one. The Rockets are the play.