NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, November 27th (All times Eastern)
Toronto Raptors (3-11) at Houston Rockets (6-7), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Houston Rockets carry both a two-game winning streak and a heavy heart into Tuesday night when they host the Toronto Raptors at the Toyota Center.
This will be the first game for the Rockets since head coach Kevin McHale's daughter Sasha passed away on Saturday afternoon at the age of 23.
"We talked about it (Sunday)," said interim coach Kelvin Sampson, who is 4-4 since McHale took a leave of absence. "We've all gotten to know Kevin's family. We see them around a lot. It's part of our family.
"Youngsters seem to be a lot more resilient than adults, whether it's a life loss or a game. We walk in every day and know our leader isn't here. It's a constant reminder."
Sampson indicated the team would wear a black band on their jerseys to honor Sasha.
The last time the Rockets took the floor on Friday, they exploded for 131 points and crushed the New York Knicks by 28. James Harden and Chandler Parsons both scored over 30 and Jeremy Lin beat his old team with 13 points and seven assists.
The Rockets play seven of their next nine in Houston. This mini winning streak came at home and the Rockets might get the services of Carlos Delfino back on Tuesday. The forward has missed the last five games with a strained groin and his availability for Tuesday will be a game-time decision.
The Raptors will be led on Tuesday night by Kyle Lowry, who will play his first game against his former team. Lowry was traded by Houston to the Raptors in the offseason after a solid 2011-12 season which saw him butt heads with McHale.
Lowry's missed some time this season due to injury, but when he's been on the floor, he's been good. Lowry averages 18.3 ppg, 6.1 apg and almost leads the team in rebounding with 5.9 rpg.
"I haven't paid much attention to it," said Lowry. "I understood it was business. In this league, you can't get too caught up in what happens when you get traded or moved."
The Raptors have lost four in a row, including three on the road. The took the San Antonio Spurs to two overtimes at home on Sunday, but fell 111-106. Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas each scored over 20 points, but it was an afternoon to forget for Andrea Bargnani. The forward managed only four points on 2-for-19 shooting.
These two teams have split their season series the past six seasons, although the Raptors, who play seven of their next eight on the road against Western Conference teams, haven't won in Houston since Feb. 28, 2007.
11/27 10:42:40 ET