Nuggets visit Houston
(Sports Network) – The Houston Rockets hope to put the brakes on a two-game
losing streak when they welcome the Denver Nuggets tonight to the Toyota
Houston plays the finale of a brief two-game homestand. Reigning MVP Steve
Nash finished with 21 points and 14 assists, as the Phoenix Suns rallied from
a 15-point deficit in the second quarter for a 100-91 triumph over the Rockets
at the Toyota Center.
The Rockets were without their top two scorers. Forward Tracy McGrady, who had
45 points in a loss Tuesday at Dallas, sat out due to a sore back, while
center Yao Ming is sidelined with displaced fracture in a bone under his right
Yao, who leads the Rockets in scoring (25.9 ppg) and rebounding (9.4 rpg),
suffered his injury during a 98-93 loss on December 23rd to the Los Angeles
Clippers. He is expected to be sidelined into February.
Rafer Alston tied a career-high with 29 points and dished out eight assists in
the loss to Phoenix for Houston. Luther Head and Shane Battier both had 16
points for the Rockets, who have lost back-to-back contests since winning nine
McGrady, who is averaging 22.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and a team-high 6.3
assists this season, is probable for tonight’s contest. He has missed eight
games this season.
Houston is 13-4 at home this season. The Rockets are scheduled to visit the
San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday at the AT&T Center.
The Nuggets try to win their third in a row. Marcus Camby scored 26 points and
pulled down 17 rebounds, helping Denver race out to a big lead before holding
on for a 110-99 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday at the Pepsi
Allen Iverson added 25 points and nine assists in the win over Cleveland for
the Nuggets, who have won back-to-back contests for just the second time since
the former 76er came to the Mile High City. J.R. Smith ended with 14 points
and Linas Kleiza netted 12 for Denver.
Denver continues to play without star forward Carmelo Anthony, who is serving
a 15-game suspension for his participation in the infamous brawl with the New
York Knicks in December. Anthony, who is averaging a league-best 31.6 points
per game, is eligible to return on January 22nd versus the Memphis Grizzlies
at the Pepsi Center.
The Nuggets are a respectable 8-7 on the road this season.
This is the second meeting of the season between the clubs. On January 12th,
Battier posted 25 points and seven rebounds as the Rockets topped Denver,
90-86, at the Pepsi Center.
The Rockets have won three in a row in the series. Denver has lost two of its
last three at Houston.