Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
This is the biggest game for the month for the Rockets. It's not because of the caliber of the opponent, it's because of the distance between these two in the standings.
Entering March, the Jazz are less than one game ahead of the Rockets for seventh place in the Western Conference. The thought of having a little more of a cushion in the standings should push the Rockets to play hard from the opening tip to the final buzzer.
Now, of course, the Jazz will be playing for this as well. Don't think for a second that they will be an easy opponent.
This is a game where Lin and Harden will have to shine. Of the two, I actually expect Lin to have the better all-around game.
Jamal Tinsley and Earl Watson will not be able to stop Lin, who will likely have one of the best games of his 2012-13 season. Expect 25-plus points on a high shooting percentage and over 10 assists.
Parsons should be a favorite target of his in this one. While not capable of bumping bodies inside with the likes of Paul Millsap, Parsons will be able to step out and play on the perimeter—a place where he'll clearly have the upper hand on Millsap.
The Rockets and Jazz both understand the implications of this game, but the opportunity to move up in the standings will be the deciding factor for Houston.
Final Score: HOU 112 - UTA 103 (6-3 in March)