Sunday , Jan , 29 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Miami, Houston tangle at Toyota Center

(Sports Network) – The Miami Heat may again be without guard Dwyane Wade this
afternoon when they conclude a brief two-game road trip against the Houston
Rockets at the Toyota Center.

Wade and fellow starting backcourt-mate Jason Williams were in street clothes
on Friday, as Shaquille O’Neal scored 23 points, pulled down seven rebounds
and dished out five assists in his 900th career start to lead Miami past the
struggling Charlotte Bobcats, 91-85, at Charlotte Bobcats Arena.

Udonis Haslem posted 17 points and seven rebounds and Antoine Walker scored
all 15 of his points in the second half as the Heat tallied 61 second-half
points after a sluggish start en route to their third win in four games.

Wade is nursing a sprained left ankle he suffered in a loss to Phoenix on
Thursday, while Williams missed his second game after getting stitches on his
ring finger following a weight lifting accident. Both players will be game-
time decisions this afternoon.

Miami, which will start a two-game homestand against the Los Angeles Clippers
on Monday, is 12-12 away from home this season.

Houston, meanwhile, enters tonight’s tilt on a losing note after suffering a
96-92 home-setback at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.
Tracy McGrady ended with only 19 points and had eight assists for the Rockets,
who had a two-game winning streak come to a halt.

Stromile Swift also had 19 points and David Wesley finished with 18, but
missed a potential game-tying three-pointer in the final seconds as Houston
fell for the ninth time in 12 contests.

The Rockets, who are already without center Yao Ming (toe) and guards Derek
Anderson (calf), Bob Sura (knee/back) and Jon Barry (calf), could also be
without forward Juwan Howard, who is questionable with the flu.

Houston, which will be closing a three-game homestand today, is 14-6 in its
arena this season.

Miami defeated the Rockets earlier in the season and has won three of four and
four of the last six meetings. The Heat have also won six of their last nine
in Houston.