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NBA Preview from The Sports Network

Saturday, December 23rd (All times eastern)

Los Angeles Clippers (10-15) at Houston Rockets (16-10), 8:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The struggling Los Angeles Clippers play the middle contest of a three-game road trip when they visit the Houston Rockets tonight at the Toyota Center.

This is the second meeting of the season between the clubs. On December 17th, All-Star center Yao Ming scored a game-high 32 points, pulled down 10 rebounds and dished out five assists to lead the Rockets to a 108-103 victory over the Clippers at the Staples Center.

The Clippers have lost eight of their last 11 at Houston. The Rockets have won three of four and 12 of the last 14 contests in this series.

Los Angeles enters tonight's contest on a six-game losing streak. On Friday, Josh Howard had 25 points and Devean George netted 21 to lead the Dallas Mavericks over the Clippers, 115-83, at American Airlines Center.

Corey Maggette, who is the subject of trade rumors, had 19 points in the loss to Dallas for LA, while All-Star Elton Brand scored 18 for the Clippers, who have dropped 13 of their last 17 games overall.

The Clippers, who will visit the Utah Jazz on Tuesday at EnergySolutions Arena, are a brutal 1-9 on the road this season.

Houston returns home after going 2-3 on a five-game road trip. All-Star center Yao Ming scored 22 points and pulled down seven rebounds as the Rockets crushed the San Antonio Spurs, 97-78, on Friday at the AT&T Center.

Bonzi Wells scored 15 points and grabbed seven boards in the win over San Antonio for Houston, which continues to play without Tracy McGrady as he battles back spasms. Juwan Howard scored 14 points, and Rafer Alston netted 12 and handed out nine assists in the win.

The Rockets are 8-2 at home this season. They will visit the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday and the New Jersey Nets on Wednesday.

12/23 10:40:53 ET

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