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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, March 12th (All times eastern)

Houston Rockets (43-20) at Atlanta Hawks (26-37), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The victories have been coming at a rapid pace for the Houston Rockets, who will try to extend their franchise-record winning streak to 20 games against the Atlanta Hawks tonight at Philips Arena.

Houston made it 19 straight wins with Monday's 91-73 triumph over the New Jersey Nets at the Toyota Center, as Tracy McGrady scored 19 points to help the Rockets tie the third-longest winning streak in NBA history. Luis Scola and Rafer Alston each scored 12 points for the Rockets, who haven't lost since January 27 at home to Utah.

The Rockets, who have won 13 straight at home, have also won 10 in a row by double figures -- tying an NBA record set by Washington in December 1946 and equaled by the Nets in the 2003-04 season. The Rockets are just a game behind San Antonio in the Southwest Division and an impressive 7-0 without All-Star center Yao Ming, who is out for the season with a stress fracture in his left foot.

Houston is third in the West standings and can match the second-longest winning streak in league history with a win tonight. The Milwaukee Bucks won 20 in a row during the 1970-71 season, while the 1999-2000 Lakers won 19 straight and the Lakers squad of the 1971-1972 campaign ripped off an NBA-best 33 consecutive victories.

The Rockets have also won 11 straight as the visitor and haven't lost on the road since a January 2 setback at Boston. Houston is 19-11 away from the Toyota Center in 2007-08. After Wednesday's game at the Hawks, Houston will return home to host the Bobcats, Lakers and Celtics.

Meanwhile, Atlanta will open a two-game homestand tonight versus Houston and the Los Angeles Clippers. The Hawks are 19-12 at Philips Arena this season.

In Monday's 123-112 loss to the Orlando Magic at Amway Arena, Joe Johnson ended with 27 points and 11 assists for the Hawks, who have dropped five of their last six games. Mike Bibby recorded 23 points and six assists, while Josh Smith and Salim Stoudamire scored 16 points apiece in defeat.

Atlanta is one-half game ahead of New Jersey for the final postseason spot in the Eastern Conference.

Houston and Atlanta are meeting for the second and final time this season. The Rockets posted a 108-89 victory on February 9 at the Toyota Center, as McGrady had 15 points and eight assists to lead the way.

Houston has won four of the last six meetings with Atlanta. It has lost three straight and five of the previous six matchups at Philips Arena.

03/12 11:00:31 ET


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