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Saturday, December 4th (All times eastern)

Philadelphia 76ers (6-9) at Houston Rockets (6-11), 8:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A pair of struggling teams will face each other this evening, as the Houston Rockets host the Philadelphia 76ers at the Toyota Center.

Houston has had a disappointing start to the season and was dealt its fifth straight loss on Thursday night against the Mavericks. Meanwhile, the Sixers were handed their third loss in a row on Friday night in Memphis.

The Rockets fell to Dallas in overtime, 113-106, at AmericanAirlines Center. Tracy McGrady had an excellent game, scoring a season-high 48 points on 19- of-36 shooting in the losing effort. Jim Jackson chipped in 17 points, while Yao Ming added 13 and 14 boards in the loss.

However, the Rockets were stung by Dirk Nowitzki, who scored a career-high 53 points for the Mavericks. Nowitzki opened the extra session on fire and his three-point play staked Dallas to a 98-93 advantage. He was sent back to the line and buried both tries to make it 100-93. Nowitzki kept the hot hand and his three-pointer with 3:36 left staked the Mavericks to a 103-93 cushion.

McGrady would end the Nowitzki show with a three and pull the Rockets within seven with 2 1/2 minutes to go. Another trey by McGrady with just over a minute left trimmed the deficit to 108-104, but the Rockets would get no closer and suffered the seven-point loss.

McGrady is averaging a team-high 22.1 points per game this season. He has scored 20 or more points in eight of the 15 games that he has played in for the Rockets.

Philadelphia remained winless (0-3) on its five-game road trip, as it was handed a 94-86 setback by Pau Gasol and the Grizzlies. Gasol finished with a season-high 34 points and 15 rebounds to lead Memphis

Allen Iverson posted 25 points and seven steals for the 76ers, who have lost three straight and six of their last eight. Marc Jackson delivered 17 points and seven rebounds, while Kenny Thomas added 14 points and eight boards.

Kyle Korver scored 12 points for the Sixers, who fell to 1-6 on the road this season.

This marks the first meeting of the season between Houston and Philadelphia Last year, the Rockets swept the two contests with the Sixers and have won four straight and six of the last seven meetings. The 76ers have also lost three straight and 12 of their last 14 games in Houston.

12/04 10:26:41 ET


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