NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, April 4th (All times eastern)
Houston Rockets (38-37) at Indiana Pacers (28-48), 6 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Indiana Pacers will shoot for their fourth straight win over the Houston Rockets tonight, when the two clubs get square off at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Indiana has won three in a row in this series and handed the Rockets a 125-115 setback on February 20 this season at the Toyota Center. Danny Granger poured in 36 points and Houston native T.J. Ford added 23 in that one. These two clubs have split the last six matchups in Indianapolis.
The Pacers will resume a four-game homestand Sunday and fell to 1-1 on the residency following Friday's 105-96 overtime loss to the Miami Heat. Dwyane Wade scored eight of his 43 points in overtime to burn the Pacers, who were outscored by a 16-7 margin in the extra period.
Troy Murphy finished with 29 points and 15 rebounds for Indiana, which had an eight-game home win streak come to an end and fell to 20-17 as the host. Granger tallied 25 points and A.J. Price had 13 off the bench in defeat.
"Very tough loss. We couldn't get it done at the end when it really counted," Murphy said. "They are a complete basketball team, very tough and efficient. In short, when they needed it Dwyane Wade took the game over and that was the end."
Indiana lost for the second time in its last eight contests overall, and will also host the New York Knicks.
Houston is also playing out the string and will continue a four-game road trip this evening. It is 1-1 on the trek and recorded a 119-114 overtime victory at Boston on Friday, as Aaron Brooks hit a game-tying three-pointer with nine seconds left in regulation and finished with 30 points in the improbable win.
Luis Scola had 27 points and 11 rebounds and Chase Budinger added 24 points for the Rockets, who won for the second time in seven tries and will also visit Memphis on the swing. The latest victory certainly lifted the spirits of head coach Rick Adelman.
"Excellent win. Probably our best of the year," said Adelman. "When you have a group of guys go out there, it was all about them, as we kept talking about, it's not about who you're playing, it's about yourselves. They got us down a couple of times, and we came back...and made some big plays down the stretch. I couldn't be more proud of the guys who played."
The Rockets are 17-20 away from home in 2009-10. On the injury front, forward Trevor Ariza (flu) and guard Kevin Martin (shoulder) are listed as questionable against the Pacers.
04/04 10:37:16 ET