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NBA Preview from The Sports Network

Friday, December 15th (All times eastern)

Houston Rockets (14-8) at Los Angeles Lakers (15-7), 10:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Lakers try to get back on the winning track when they welcome the Houston Rockets tonight to the Staples Center.

This is the second meeting of the week and the season between the clubs. On December 12th, superstar Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 23 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as Los Angeles squandered a 27-point fourth quarter lead but held on and escaped with a 102-94 victory over the Rockets at the Toyota Center.

Houston has lost three of five and four of its last seven at the Lakers, who have won three in a row in this series.

Los Angeles plays the first of a brief two-game homestand. On Wednesday, Dirk Nowitzki ended with 23 points, 14 rebounds and tied a career-high with eight assists to pace Dallas to a 110-101 win over the Lakers at American Airlines Center.

Bryant scored 28 of his game-high 33 points in the second half for the Lakers, who had a three-game winning streak halted. Luke Walton ended with 13 points for the Lakers, while Jordan Farmar and Smush Parker netted 12 in the victory.

The Lakers are 12-3 at home this season. They will host Gilbert Arenas and the Washington Wizards on Sunday.

Houston tries to halt a two-game losing streak as it plays the second of a five-game road trip. On Thursday, Baron Davis hit the winning three-pointer with 1.2 seconds remaining as the Golden State Warriors rallied from a four- point deficit in the final minute for a 109-107 victory over the Rockets at ORACLE Arena.

All-Star Yao Ming finished with 38 points and 18 rebounds in the loss to the Warriors for Houston, while Luther Head added 26 points and nine rebounds for the Rockets, who have lost consecutive games for the first time all season.

On the injury front for Houston, guard Tracy McGrady (back spasms) is doubtful for tonight's contest. He has miss the last two contests and is averaging 19.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and a team-best 6.3 assists this season.

The Rockets are 6-6 on the road this season. They will also visit the Clippers, Portland and San Antonio on the current road trip.

12/15 10:40:50 ET

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