Posted December 19, 2012 on
AP on Fox
The Houston Rockets' new backcourt hasn't been the perfect fit, but it was hard to tell in the last game.
James Harden and Jeremy Lin will try to keep that momentum going on Wednesday night when the Rockets host the slumping Philadelphia 76ers.
The addition of Harden from Oklahoma City and Lin from New York brought plenty of star power to Houston, but blending their talents is still a work in progress.
Still, Harden and Lin can carry the club when they're both on their games, as was the case in Monday's 109-96 road victory against the Knicks, who entered the game with a league-best 10-0 home record. Harden, the team leader with 25.1 ppg, finished with 28 and a season high-tying 10 rebounds, while Lin impressed in his return to Madison Square Garden with 22 points and eight assists to help the Rockets (12-12) rebound from Sunday's 103-96 loss at Toronto.
"Tonight I think we complemented each other really well," Lin said after Houston ended its seven-game road slide. "I think that's really important for us to be aggressive and pick our spots and feed the hot hand. Tonight we did a good job and took a step in the right direction in terms of figuring it out."
The Rockets have figured out how to win at the Toyota Center, posting an 8-2 mark there since opening 1-3 as the home team.
Houston is also much improved on the defensive end, giving up 95.3 points per game on 42.1 percent shooting during its current 3-1 stretch. The Rockets yielded an average of 113.6 points while splitting their previous eight contests.
"We are just getting better with our communication," said Harden, whose 42 steals are second-most on the team to Lin's 44.
That doesn't bode well for a Philadelphia team that could be without injured leading scorer Jrue Holiday for a fourth consecutive game.
The 76ers (12-13) opened their two-game Texas swing - and a stretch of 10 of 11 on the road - with Tuesday's 107-100 loss to Dallas.
Still, Philadelphia's Dorell Wright hit seven 3-pointers and finished with a season-high 25 points and center Spencer Hawes matched a season best with 18.
"I thought we had some guys play well and we've got to keep building on that,'' said coach Doug Collins, whose team has dropped a season-high four straight and seven of nine since a 6-2 stretch. "We know we're undermanned, but nobody cares.''
Holiday, the team leader with 18.4 points per game and 8.9 assists, could give Philadelphia a much-needed boost, but he doesn't want to return too soon and risk further injury, regardless of the pressure he feels to get back on the court.
"I'm going to try to get back as quick as possible," Holiday said after Tuesday's shootaround.
That can't come soon enough as Philadelphia has lost four in a row away from home and is on the verge of matching its longest skid of last season. Houston's 93-87 home win on Feb. 22 sent the 76ers to a fifth straight defeat.
The Rockets had dropped four straight at home to Philadelphia and seven of eight in the series.
Wright, who will play his first game in this series, scored a career-best 34 points in a 131-112 loss at Houston on March 23, 2011, while with Golden State.
Harden is averaging 11.4 points in five career games against the 76ers, while Lin totaled 32 points and 11 assists in two matchups versus Philadelphia last season.
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AROUND THE WEB
Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin was cheered by New York Knicks fans in the pregame introductions at Madison Square Garden as he returned to face his former team for the first time.
In his MSG return, Lin scored 22 points and had 8 assists to help the Rockets to a 109-96 victory over the Knicks. The Rockets are now 2-0 against the Knicks this season.
Video via. ...
Jeremy Lin is still must-see TV in New York.
Lin's first trip back to New York since signing with the Houston Rockets resulted in MSG Network's highest-rated Knicks game of the season, according to the network.
The Rockets' 109-96 victory Monday drew a 4.77 rating, MSG said Tuesday. That's well above the 3.41 average rating for the first 18 games of the season....
NEW YORK -- Jeremy Lin acknowledged it felt odd walking back into the building in which he became a national sensation. The Houston Rockets guard didn't know what kind of reaction to expect from all those Madison Square Garden fans who cheered him last season while wearing his No. 17 New York Knicks jersey, savoring the craze known as "Linsanity." When Lin took...
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In late October Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey traded, then signed James Harden to a maximum contract. Given the 5 year $80 million deal, Morey thinks the bearded wonder has the capability to be a superstar. But will he be?
Tough call, but let’s try to project.
On Oklahoma City, Harden was the steadying force to Russell Westbrook’s...
Jeremy Lin became a breakout star for the New York Knicks with Carmelo Anthony on the bench last season, and now his highly anticipated return to Madison Square Garden will come under a similar set of circumstances.
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Tonight the Houston Rockets visit Madison Square Garden and that means Jeremy Lin will return to play the Knicks. Last year Lin was the talk of the sports world for about a month for the Knicks. That being said the Knicks let Lin walk to the Rockets.
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Tonight was Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin's first return to New York City after the "Linsanity" of last season.During the Rockets pregame introduction, it was unknown if the Knicks fans would cheer or boo him upon his return.The Knicks fans ended up cheering for him....
Lin’s rip job on himself occurred after yesterday’s Rockets loss in Toronto in which Lin scored just seven points with two assists while Raptors point guard Jose Calderon went off for 18 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds.
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NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks have found little need to miss Jeremy Lin so far this season. But they would miss playing him and his current Houston Rockets team even less. Lin had a triumphant return to Madison Square Garden on Monday as he teamed with James Harden to lead the Rockets to a 109-96 victory that spoiled the Knicks' undefeated home record. Houston's second...
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Jeremy Lin made his much anticipated return to Madison Square Garden as a member of the Houston Rockets on Monday night and routed his former teammates, dropping 22 points with 8 assists in front of many famous faces.
The Rockets continue to believe that James Harden and Jeremy Lin will develop better chemistry over time.
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Harden topped 20 points for the seventh straight game to send the 76ers to their fifth straight loss. He made 17 of 18 free throws, including six in the fourth quarter, as Houston improved to 9-2 in its last 11 home games.
Toney Douglas heated...
The Houston Rockets abused the New York Knicks for the second time this season Monday night, but this time they handed them their first loss at home. Despite the remarkable game Lin had, 22 points on 15 shots and 8 assists, there was this fun “highlight” in which Lin and then ex-teammate J.R. Smith exchange [...]The post Jeremy Lin, J.R. Smith Back-to-back Airballs (Video) appeared...
After a disheartening defeat to Jeremy Lin, Toney Douglas, and the new-look Houston Rockets, the Knicks will look to avenge their first home court loss, against the Nets on Wednesday.The two teams have already begun to have a heated inner-city rivalry, so far splitting the season series at one a piece. While Brooklyn shocked New York with a commanding loss earlier in the year, Jason...