The Houston Rockets nail-biting win against the New York Knicks on Tuesday brought a sight of hope, snapping their four-game losing streak. Controversial call on Aaron Holiday's Hail Mary three or not, this win fueled the shorthanded Rockets. Without Fred VanVleet, Cam Whitmore, or Tari Eason available to play, Houston kept its defense strong backed by a team effort that included noteworthy performances from Holiday, Dillon Brooks, and Amen Thompson.

Prior to the win, the four straight losses were on the road against beatable teams. Winning on the road has been an ongoing issue that Houston has yet to overcome. While their home record is a sparkling 19-9, a disastrous 5-20 record away from the Toyota Center showcases a completely different team. For one, they have the second worst road record in the league ahead of the lowly Detroit Pistons. Houston will take this poor record to Memphis for the final game before the NBA heads to the All-Star break. Here's how they can carry their home cooking momentum with a win on the road to finish strong into their week-long hiatus.

Defense is key

The Rockets need to go back to their roots, and that is defense. So far, this recipe has been successfully done at home. When playing at the Toyota Center, they are second in defensive rating, fourth in defensive rebounding percentage, and first in least amount of opponent points off turnovers and fast break points. On the road, it's night and day. From these rankings, the Rockets are 17th in both defensive rating and defensive rebound percentage.

While they're 11th in opponent points off turnovers on the road as well, they are still number one in both home and road games in allowing fast break points. The great thing about the Rockets defense is that it's very difficult to score on them in transition. It's when Houston is set that things on the road tend to go awry. Players aren't able to make split-second decisions when an opponents play calling is set on the offensive end.

The constant road woes leaves Houston's overall team's defensive averages ranking tenth in points per game and 19th in rebounds.

Grizzlies have their own problems

Ja Morant, Marcus Smart, Desmond Bane all in Grizzlies warm up clothes

Winning against the Grizzlies on the road to finish off the first half won't be as difficult as facing most teams on their home court. The Grizzlies themselves are eager for their forgettable season to be over. Fresh off of two straight playoff berths, this season has been one for the blues. Along with Ja Morant's season-ending injury, Marcus Smart and Desmond Bane have been out for an extended period of time. The recent trades of Xavier Tillman to the Boston Celtics and Steven Adams to our Houston Rockets also illicit an early surrender. They sit at the 13th seed in the Western Conference with an 18-36 record, riding a current nine game losing streak.

A lone key piece on the team is forward Jaren Jackson Jr., who has quietly had arguably his best individual season, averaging 22.5 points on 44.7% shooting with 5.5 rebounds.

Players to watch

Brooks will make the second return to Memphis facing his former team. The first matchup against the Grizzlies in Memphis saw the 28-year old score a team-high 26 points on 10-of-20 shooting. Expect him to relish playing against his former team once again.

“It’s always special,” Brooks said, regarding another return to Memphis. “I’m going to bring the energy from the start. We started slow when we played them last in Memphis. It’s always special going back.”

Via Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, Brooks believes winning both games would put them “in a good position in the standings.”

Alperen Sengun has quietly regressed in the month of February, going from averaging 22.7 points in January to 16.8 points and a -10 plus-minus over his last five games. On the court, it seems the hefty offensive load is getting the best of him. Aside from Jackson, the Grizzlies' interior defense might be open for the taking. This could be a good game for the Turkish center to finish the first half strong.

Jalen Green's recent five-game stretch in late January wasn't a fluke. In fact, Green recorded his first career triple-double against the Atlanta Hawks with 26 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists. The 22-year-old seems to flourish against teams that don't possess much of an interior presence. With the Grizzlies in the top 10 in defensive rating and third in blocks per game, this will be a test to see if Green can overcome his flaws.

Rockets need to finish strong

At this current stage against Memphis, the Rockets are clearly the better team, especially when playing at home. But on the road with VanVleet, Whitmore, and Eason still listed as out, this game might be closer than expected. Food for thought, one of the Rockets lone road wins occurred in their previous matchup in Memphis. Another Houston win away from home would finish off a poor road start to the first half and possibly carry some momentum during the hiatus. Let's see if history repeats itself.