NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, April 1st (All times Eastern)
Houston Rockets (49-23) at Brooklyn Nets (39-33), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Brooklyn Nets will try to establish a franchise record for consecutive home wins Tuesday night, but they'll face a tall order in the Houston Rockets.
The Nets have won 13 consecutive home games, a feat that has now happened three times in franchise history. The other two instances occurred during the 2001-02 season.
Brooklyn has won two in a row and six of its last eight overall.
Paul Pierce scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Nets to a 114-99 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.
Joe Johnson added 19 points, Andray Blatche scored 14 and Mason Plumlee finished with 13 points and eight rebounds for the Nets.
Shaun Livingston and Alan Anderson also scored 13 points for Brooklyn, which still trails Toronto by two games in the Atlantic Division standings. The Nets are two ahead of the Washington Wizards, who reside in sixth.
"We control our own destiny," said Nets coach Jason Kidd. "It's just about us, and for us to finish out the rest of the games and see where we end up after 82 games - if it's home or if we have to start on the road."
The Rockets head to Brooklyn after a five-game winning streak came to a halt Saturday night at home. Houston fell to the Los Angeles Clippers, 118-107, and now trails the Clips by 2 1/2 games for the third seed in the Western Conference.
The Rockets faced the Clippers short-handed with Dwight Howard (sprained ankle) and Patrick Beverley (knee) sidelined. Both players will be out on Tuesday night.
Against the Clips, James Harden scored 32 points and Chandler Parsons netted 28 along with nine rebounds, but the Rockets still had an 11-game home win streak halted.
Isaiah Canaan (14), Omer Asik (12) and Jeremy Lin (10) also scored in double figures. Asik also posted 11 rebounds, but the Rockets certainly missed the two starters.
"You can't use that as an excuse. Everybody goes through injuries," said Parsons. "They didn't have their best player either. He (Blake Griffin) played six minutes. It's part of it. We have to learn to win games without guys and hope they can get back as soon as possible."
Howard should be back before the end of the season and the Rockets got good news that Beverley won't need surgery for the torn meniscus in his right knee. That means the starting point guard should be back sometime during the playoffs.
The Rockets visit the Raptors on Wednesday.
Houston has owned this series in recent history, winning 14 straight dating back to Mar. 13, 2006. The Rockets' winning streak in Brooklyn goes even further back. Houston has taken 10 in a row as the visitor in this series and its last loss on the road against the Nets came on Mar. 31, 2003.
04/01 10:23:55 ET