NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, March 13th
(All times Eastern)
Phoenix Suns (22-42) at Houston Rockets (34-30), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Houston Rockets will try to avenge a loss over the
weekend to the Phoenix Suns when the two squads meet in Houston on Wednesday
The Suns bested the Rockets 107-105 on Saturday. The Rockets have been off
since the loss and will begin a stretch of seven straight at home and nine of
10 in their own building.
Houston just played three straight on the road and went 1-2 with the only
victory a 94-88 win over the Golden State Warriors on Friday. The Rockets have
won three of their last five and are the seventh seed in the Western
Conference, just 1 1/2 games behind those Warriors for the sixth spot.
"The homestand means nothing if we don't play well," head coach Kevin McHale
said after Monday's practice. "The homestand means nothing if we play the way
we did against Phoenix, or against Washington, or against Milwaukee at home."
The Suns loss was particularly ugly. The Rockets committed 21 turnovers, which
led to 24 Phoenix points, and the Suns won the battle on the boards, 47-39.
"We gave up 28 points off our turnovers and gave (the Suns) 24 second-chance
points," McHale said. "That's 52 points that they got off of our stuff. That's
James Harden was sensational for the Rockets with 27 points, eight assists and
five rebounds. He shot 11-for-17 and 7-for-10 from long range, but did have
Carlos Delfino scored 21 off the bench and went 5-for-9 from beyond the arc.
Harden and Delfino combined for 24 in the fourth quarter, but it was not
The Suns have played since the win over the Rockets. They fell at home to the
red-hot Denver Nuggets, 108-93, on Monday night.
Wesley Johnson led the way against the Nuggets with 18 points. Marcin Gortat
and Jermaine O'Neal both missed the Denver game and the Nuggets scored 74
points in the paint.
"We have to play with what we have," said interim coach Lindsey Hunter."One of
our sayings is 'no excuses' so whoever is playing has to step up and play.
That's the way it is."
Luis Scola started at center with the Morris twins, Markieff and Marcus at the
forward spots. Gortat will be out a while with a sprained foot and O'Neal is
sidelined with a personal matter as he is with his ill daughter.
These two teams still have two more meetings this season and Phoenix has won
three in a row and 10 of 13 meetings with Houston.
03/13 10:40:36 ET