1 of 9
Danny Chan La, Deseret News
Houston's Yao Ming gets a finger on the shot of Utah's Paul Millsap as the Jazz and the Rockets play Tuesday in Salt Lake City. The Jazz won, 99-86.

They don't have a road victory over any of the NBA Western Conference's other top nine.

But the Jazz sure do have a good thing going at home, especially after an evening full of playoff-race implications not only for Utah but also the rest of the West.

The Jazz used a 19-point, 12-assist double from point guard Deron Williams to help beat the Houston Rockets 99-86 in a late-starting, TNT-televised game Tuesday night, extending their string of consecutive victories at EnergySolutions Arena to 13.

It was the third straight victory overall for Utah, which with 12 games remaining in the season remains sixth in the Western Conference and second behind Denver in the Northwest Division.

"That was a huge win for us," said power forward Carlos Boozer, who with 13 points joined Williams, Ronnie Brewer (17), Paul Millsap (15) and Mehmet Okur (12) in double figures. "You know, they're a very good team — and we were looking forward to this game.

"Every win right now counts," Boozer added. "It's huge in the Western Conference for us."

The 44-26 Jazz finished their season series tied at 2-2 with Houston, which — combined with a San Antonio win over Golden State on Tuesday — slipped from second to third in the West behind the Spurs and the conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers.

Beyond that, the 47-26 Rockets didn't just see their four-game overall and four-game road win streaks come to a close.

They also lost their grip on first place in the Southwest Division, leaving spots two through eight in the Western Conference race up for grabs with less than a month to go before postseason play gets under way.

All that leaves the Jazz, who finish a back-to-back set tonight at Phoenix, still with legit hope for securing homecourt advantage for at least the first round of the playoffs.

Moreover, it sets up a potential 3-6 seed playoff meeting for Houston and Utah — which would mark the third straight opening-round postseason series between the Jazz, who took each of the first two, and the Rockets.

Most of those games, much like Tuesday's, have gone late with the outcome at least somewhat in doubt.

"We kept 'em to a very low percentage (34.8) shooting," Boozer said. "I thought we did a great job of helping each other defensively, making them work for every shot that they did make. . . . Then we did a great job of executing down the stretch."

The Jazz 46-43 at halftime, with Williams and Kyle Korver both scoring nine points before the break.

Utah's second-quarter advantage rose to as high as 11 at 39-28, but Houston closed with a 5-0 spurt — a 3-pointer from Ron Artest, and a short jumper from Aaron Brooks, who finished with a game-high 20 points — in the half's final 41 seconds.

"I think Coach (Jerry Sloan) got to us a little bit after that little letdown in the second quarter," Williams said, "and then we had to pick up it up."

The Jazz used Brewer's 12 points in the third quarter to head into the fourth up eight at 75-67.

Houston still was within four with less than minutes to go, though, and it wasn't until a 9-0 run sparked by an Okur runner and a 21-footer from Andrei Kirilenko that the Jazz could safely turn their attention to Phoenix.

Tonight's game also is the first of consecutive games against the ninth-in-the-West Suns, who visit EnergySolutions on Saturday night.

"We've been a terrible team road all season," Boozer said with reference to Utah's 14-20 record away from home. "And (tonight) is going to be a big road game for us, with them trying to get in the playoffs. We've go to bring this energy over there."

NOTES: The Rockets are now 16-5 since Feb. 9, which was star Tracy McGrady's last game before undergoing season-ending microfracture knee surgery . . . The Jazz are now 6-0 on national TV this season, including 4-0 on TNT and 2-0 and ESPN . . . The NBA officially corrected the boxscore from last Friday's win over Oklahoma City and awarded Boozer an extra rebound, giving him a 15-point, 10-board double-double.

E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com