Game 42 - Nets vs. Rockets - Saturday, March 10, 8:00

Feb 28, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets shooting guard Kevin Martin (12) drives on Toronto Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan (10) during the third quarter at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-US Presswire

Here are some numbers to remember Saturday night: 3, the number of consecutive wins if the Nets emerge victorious; 4, the number of games out of the 8th playoff spot they can be; and 10, the number of healthy bodies they'll have to battle the Rockets, and battle they surely will. They'll be without Deron Williams, who the Nets will rest with a recurring calf strain.

In a lot of ways, this is a statement game. Can the Nets finally win three straight? Can they continue winning with both Williams and Brook Lopez out? Can they take advantage of a team going through a rough patch? Are they serious about a playoff run? Making up four and a half games with 25 to go is eminently doable, particularly if 16 of those 25 are at home and 14 are against teams with losing records. Not to mention the Knicks' latest collapse and horrid schedule.

For Houston, things have not been going well. They've lost five straight and Kevin Martin has shot 25-of-72 since the All-Star Game. They're barely holding on to the eighth spot in the West and their coach, Kevin McHale, is questioning their intensity. Look for ex-Net Terrence Williams to get some burn. McHale had inserted him back into the rotation 10 days ago, but then T-Will missed practice, causing McHale to hold him out. Now, it looks like he's back.

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