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Houston's Howard faces Lakers once again

(SportsNetwork.com) - Dwight Howard will get another chance at his former team Wednesday night when the struggling Los Angeles Lakers visit the Toyota Center to face the Houston Rockets.

Howard played last season with the Lakers in a drama-filled, success-free campaign. He elected not to re-sign with LA in the offseason and headed south to Houston.

Wednesday will mark the second time Howard's Rockets tangle with the Lakers, who are without future Hall of Famers Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash. Los Angeles topped Houston by one in Houston on Nov. 7.

The Rockets snapped a two-game losing streak on Friday with a 102-100 home win over the New York Knicks.

Aaron Brooks made two free throws with 17 seconds remaining. James Harden poured in 37 points to lead Houston but Brooks scored the last two. His foul shots came after Knicks guard J.R. Smith missed a 3-pointer he took with the score tied and despite the shot clock being turned off.

Chandler Parsons had 17 points, Howard scored 15 and Jeremy Lin added 14 for the Rockets, who rallied from an eight-point deficit after three quarters.

"It's a huge sigh of relief. We found a way," said Harden.

Parsons banged knees with Terrence Jones against the Knicks and didn't practice on Tuesday. He will be a game-time decision Wednesday as will Greg Smith, who's only played nine games due to a knee issue.

The Lakers head to Houston in shambles. They've lost two in a row, eight of nine and have held two opponents under 100 points in their last nine contests.

On Tuesday, the Lakers started their three-game road trip with a 110-97 loss in Dallas to the Mavericks.

Jodie Meeks had a team-high 24 points for the Lakers, followed by Kendall Marshall, who finished with 18 points and six assists. Pau Gasol tallied a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds in defeat.

It's been a difficult season for the Lakers. Bryant missed time, returned for not even two weeks and went back down. Nash can't get healthy. Gasol sounds unhappy and Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar and Xavier Henry are all shelved.

"We have to get this team healthy," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said of how the team can turn it around. "We have to get some guys back and some bodies back. These guys are playing hard. They're giving a lot and hanging in there."

The Rockets, who go on the road for four straight following Wednesday night, have won four of the last seven meetings, but the Lakers are 5-4 in their last nine in Houston.

01/08 10:34:32 ET