NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, December 31st (All times eastern)
Atlanta Hawks (3-0) at Houston Rockets (1-2), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Hawks aim to remain perfect on the young season Saturday when they visit Space City to take on Kevin McHale's Houston Rockets.
After winning their first two contests in emphatic fashion the Hawks had to work a little harder Friday but managed to hold off the New Jersey nets in a 105-98 win at Philips Arena. Jeff Teague scored 22 points and Joe Johnson had 21, including nine in the fourth quarter, in that one.
Teague added six assists, while Al Horford had 12 points and Marvin Williams and Zaza Pachulia each netted 11 for the Hawks, who are 3-0 for the second straight season.
"We're playing well. I think tonight was probably the worst game we played, but I know we got a win so I know we can't complain," said Teague. "They made good plays and we just made stops at the end like a good team should."
The Rockets, meanwhile, will be facing the final leg of a daunting back-to- back-to-back situation, their only one in this truncated season. After topping San Antonio in Houston on Thursday the Rockets were handled in Memphis on Friday as the Grizzlies picked up their first win on the campaign with a 113-93 rout.
Kevin Martin scored 21 points to lead Houston, while Kyle Lowry scored 15 with eight assists and Chase Budinger ended with 11 points.
Tonight's contest will serve as a bit of a homecoming for veteran Hawks swingman Tracy McGrady. The former All-Star spent five-plus seasons in Houston before being traded to New York in February of 2010.
Atlanta, which will be looking to improve to 4-0 for the third time in four seasons tonight, lost both of its meetings with the Rockets last season.
12/31 10:36:35 ET