Five days after handing them a painful loss, it was the Milwaukee Bucks doing the Rockets a favor.

The Bucks forced overtime against the Utah Jazz and won 109-108. The loss dropped the Jazz’s record to 32-28 and lifted the Rockets to the No. 7 seed in the standings and a half game ahead of Utah.

The Toronto Raptors were not as giving to the Rockets. After leading the sixth-seeded Golden State Warriors by seven after three quarters, they eventually fell 125-118. The Rockets (33-28) are a game behind the Warriors in the standings and 2.5 games ahead of the Lakers.

The Mavericks (26-33) are the Rockets’ next opponent Wednesday. They will then travel to Oakland on Friday for a pivotal matchup against the Warriors. Prior to Houston, Golden State will face the Sacramento Kings (21-40) on Wednesday.


For Utah, next on the schedule are the 20-40 Cleveland Cavaliers. They will have a stiffer test Friday against the defensive-oriented Chicago Bulls. The Rockets and Jazz won’t face off again until March 20 at the Toyota Center.

The Lakers recently reached .500 for the first time in 2013, but that could be in jeopardy tonight against the Kevin Durant-led Thunder. So far this season, Oklahoma City has a 2-1 advantage over the Lakers.