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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, February 26th (All times eastern)

San Antonio Spurs (32-23) at Houston Rockets (28-28), 8:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A pair of Southwest Division rivals collide Friday night in Houston, where the Rockets play host to the San Antonio Spurs at the Toyota Center.

The Rockets are caught in a funk and have lost three straight and six of their last seven games. In a 110-92 loss versus the Orlando Magic on Wednesday in the opener of a short homestand, Aaron Brooks finished with 24 points, eight assists and six rebounds for the Rockets, who are four games behind Portland for the final postseason spot in the Western Conference.

Houston newcomer Kevin Martin tallied 19 points, while Shane Battier had 14 points and nine rebounds in defeat. Chase Budinger chipped in 13 points and a career-high six assists off the bench for Houston,

"We came back in the third quarter and played with more aggression and confidence," Rockets head coach Rick Adelman said. "But the first half we missed a lot of shots and got our heads down. We played a good team."

Houston is winless in its last four home games and is 13-15 as the host this season. Rockets forward Trevor Ariza (hip) is questionable for Friday.

San Antonio is back on the road tonight and is coming off Wednesday's 95-87 victory over Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder in which Manu Ginobili poured in 26 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter. The Spurs were able to slow down Durant, whose incredible streak of 29 straight games with at least 25 points came to an end.

"Sometimes you make your shots, sometimes you don't," Ginobili said. "Today, I was smarter to attack the seams better. Then I got confidence and started making a couple shots."

Tim Duncan had 19 points, 15 rebounds and six assists, while George Hill added 16 points and five boards, as San Antonio returned to the Alamo City after going 4-4 on an eight-game Rodeo Road Trip. The Spurs, who are seventh in the West standings, have lost two straight on the road and are 12-13 as the guest.

San Antonio and Houston have split two of the first four matchups of the season. The Spurs are 20-9 in the past 29 meetings between the teams and have won six of the last nine at the Rockets.

Houston will visit the Spurs on March 31. The last San Antonio sweep of the series came in the 2005-06 season, when the Spurs went 4-0.

02/26 10:29:30 ET


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