After hitting only 8-of-42 from 3-point range the previous two
games, Phoenix shot 14-of-27 from behind the arc Wednesday for a
season-high 3-point total. Jones was 5-of-10 for the Suns, who are
only 3-4 at home.
"That's just an indication of our level of maturity," Jones
said. "We're still maturing. On the road, it's easy to get up
because everyone is against you. At home we have a tendency to
relax and we have to find a way to stop that."
Coach Mike D'Antoni agreed.
"We're just a little more relaxed on the road right now," he
said. "How else do you explain it? We've shot poorly at home
against teams that weren't supposed to be good on defense and the
Rockets are good defensively and we shoot better."
The Rockets, who have lost five straight, played without Tracy
McGrady, who missed his third straight game and sixth overall with
back problems. He's day-to-day.
But Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy wouldn't use McGrady's absence
as an excuse. He criticized his team's effort.
"When you have low energy that leads to poor ball handling,"
Van Gundy said. "It's tough to do anything when you have a
turnover differential every night. We played a very poor game and
they played a very good game."
Van Gundy also wouldn't blame the fact his team lost at Dallas
on Tuesday night and was just coming off a stretch of playing seven
of eight games on the road.
"I didn't say fatigue was an issue," Van Gundy said. "I said
we played as a tired team. There were no positives to report on
Yao Ming, who had eight points and eight rebounds while playing
only 26 minutes, felt the same.
"I can't believe how we're playing right now," Yao said. "We
have a game plan and we know what we need to do and we're not doing
it. I'm a big part of that, too. Time's running down. There are 70
games left but I think this is a very bad, bad stretch for us."