NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, January 10th (All times eastern)
Houston Rockets (12-20) at Charlotte Bobcats (10-23), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Houston Rockets will be without Tracy McGrady this evening when they visit the Charlotte Bobcats.
McGrady left Sunday's 92-90 loss to the Denver Nuggets on a stretcher before being transported to a local hospital with severe back spasms. McGrady appeared to suffer the injury late in the second quarter when he grabbed his lower back following a missed jumper. He tried to walk off the court, but eventually collapsed on the floor where he was quickly placed on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital to undergo precautionary tests.
An MRI revealed no structural damage, and McGrady will miss at least the next two games. He will be re-examined on Friday.
The Rockets are 0-8 this season without McGrady, who had gone for more than 30 points in five straight games before leaving Sunday's tilt with 11 points.
Rafer Alston netted a season-best 24 points and 11 assists in Sunday's loss for the Rockets, who have dropped two straight contests. Stromile Swift finished with 17 points and six boards in the loss.
Houston, which will return home for two games after tonight's tilt, is 9-10 away from home this season.
The Bobcats, meanwhile, come into tonight's tilt riding a four-game losing streak. Charlotte's latest loss came on Saturday, as it was upended by the Orlando Magic, 108-92, at the TD Waterhouse Centre.
Keith Bogans came off the bench to lead the Bobcats with 22 points, while Gerald Wallace added 12 points and 10 rebounds for Charlotte, which has dropped five of its last seven.
To make matters worse guard Brevin Knight was forced to leave the game with lower back spasms. However, he should be able to go tonight. Also expecting to return this evening is reigning Rookie of the Year Emeka Okafor, who has missed the last eight games with a sprained right ankle.
However, Sean May (sore right knee) and Jake Voskuhl (right knee swelling) are not expected to return.
Charlotte, which will head to Toronto on Wednesday, is 6-9 in its arena this season.
The Bobcats won both matchups with the Rockets last season.
01/10 10:30:23 ET