NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, February 23rd (All times eastern)
Houston Rockets (27-31) at Cleveland Cavaliers (10-46), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Houston Rockets got the second half of the season off to a good start last night in Detroit, and look to stay in contention for a playoff spot Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Rockets are 4 1/2 games off the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference and handed the Pistons a 108-100 loss at The Palace of Auburn Hills Tuesday evening. Patrick Patterson and Kevin Martin scored 20 and 16 points, respectively, for Houston, which has won five of its last eight games and pushed its road mark to 12-18 in 2010-11. Head coach Rick Adelman expressed how important it is to be successful away from home.
"It's important because we have seven out of nine on the road to start after the All-Star break," Rockets head coach Rick Adelman said. "If we want to get back in this thing, we have to win on the road."
Chase Budinger netted 10 points, while Luis Scola, Shane Battier and Chuck Hayes scored just eight apiece.
Cleveland entered the All-Star break with a ton of confidence after handing the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers a 104-99 setback from the Q last Wednesday.
Ramon Sessions led the charge with 32 points and Antawn Jamison contributed 19 and 10 assists for the lowly Cavs, who have two of three games since an NBA- record 26-game losing streak. That skid ended Feb. 11 versus the LA Clippers.
J.J. Hickson provided 13 points and 15 boards to help the Cavs improve to 10-46 on the season and 2-2 on an eight-game homestand.
"I always want to beat them," Cleveland head coach and former Lakers guard Byron Scott said after the recent win. "I love that organization and I probably still bleed a little purple and gold. But, when you are going against them as an opponent, you want to win."
The Cavaliers will also welcome New York, Philadelphia and San Antonio to the Forest City, and are only 7-19 as the host this season. Guard Mo Williams is listed as questionable for tonight with a sprained right ankle.
Sessions is averaging 19.6 points on .586 shooting, 3.8 rebounds, 8.9 assists and 2.0 steals in his last eight games. He just became the first Cavaliers reserve in franchise history to have at least 32 points, eight assists and three steals in a game. Also, Hickson has registered a career-high five double-doubles and owns 10 over the previous 14 contests.
Jamison is closing in on 300 career double-doubles with 296, and has nine this season.
Cleveland dropped a 110-95 decision in Houston on Dec. 11 this season, as Martin poured in 40 points to lead the Rockets in that one. Houston is 11-4 in the past 15 matchups with the Cavs.
02/23 10:54:55 ET