76ers-Rockets Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 19, 2012
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.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Bright future for Minnesota Timberwolves

Eli and Archie Manning say Peyton won’t likely leave Denver if he plays in 2016

NCAA mulls changes to graduate transfer and targeting rules

Cavs active in NBA trade market, covet Jared Dudley

Roger Goodell expectedly dodges Patriots-related questions at Super Bowl

Baltimore Orioles acquire starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne


USC athletic director Pat Haden to retire in June

Report: Browns owner ‘frustrated, emotional’ about Johnny Manziel

Raiders and Texans to play MNF game in Mexico City in 2016

Goodell wants to keep Raiders, Chargers in home markets

Deadly shooting breaks out at Dublin boxing weigh-in

Mike Shula vs. Wade Phillips: The best story of Super Bowl 50

Klay Thompson's first five years in historical context

WATCH: Cubs' Kris Bryant went swimming with sharks

Sports Authority taking steps to file for bankruptcy

Major League Baseball threatens to disassociate from DraftKings

NFL considering moving Pro Bowl to Australia

Joe Montana warns NFL players about potential long-term damage after retirement

Report: Two people fired for leaking Jason Pierre-Paul information

USMNT are big favorites against Canada

‘Crying Jordan’ photographer had no idea it existed until this week

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in the NHL playoff hunt

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

‘Actor’ Todd Gurley wants to make ‘billions’

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Johnny Manziel dropped by agent

Michael Irvin: Cowboys should save Manziel

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

The merits of trading Blake Griffin to the Hornets

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

Could the Marlins contend in 2016?

Report: Browns to cut Manziel in March

Browns rip Manziel in statement

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker