The Houston Rockets will try to get back into the win column Tuesday night when they start a road trip at US Airways Center against the Phoenix Suns.
The Rockets will visit the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday before the All- Star break. Their trek will continue on Feb. 20 in Dallas.
Houston had a two-game winning streak snapped on Sunday thanks to a 109-98 home loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. The setback ended a four-game home winning streak.
James Harden, who scored 44 points in Houston’s 110-95 win over Portland on Dec. 22, poured in a season high-tying 45 points with nine rebounds and eight assists on Sunday. Josh Smith added 16 points for the Rockets and Donatas Motiejunas chipped in 10.
The Rockets trailed by 13 at the half, but turned it on in the third quarter, winning the 12-minute span, 32-20. Portland held Houston to 18 points in the fourth for the 11-point victory.
“Against a good team like Portland, we gotta be on edge all four quarters,” Harden said. “We have to play all four quarters as hard as we did in that second half.”
On the injury front for the Rockets, recent reports say Dwight Howard might miss 6-8 weeks with his latest knee injury. He’s been out of action the last seven games.
The Suns have been struggling of late. They lost four of their last five, but are 3-1 in their last four as the host.
On Sunday, Phoenix fell in heart-breaking fashion to the Sacramento Kings, 85-83, at Sleep Train Arena.Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins canned a jumper as time expired to give the Kings the win.
Markieff Morris missed a jumper from in close with the game tied in the closing seconds, then it was all up to Cousins from there. Coming out of a timeout, Cousins picked up the ball at the top of the key, pump faked and forced up a contested jumper that hit off the rim a few times before finally going down for the win.
Isaiah Thomas paced the Suns with 26 points and Goran Dragic chipped in 13. Miles Plumlee grabbed 12 rebounds as the Suns shot a dreadful 36.3 percent from the field and 17.9 percent from long range.
“We’re trying to win as many games as we can,” Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. “It’s tough in the West to hang in there… We play a lot of good teams. These are the ones that hurt because they are games we should win.”
Eric Bledsoe missed the Kings game, and Monday’s practice for the birth of his son. He is expected to be in the lineup Tuesday.
NBA releases 02/10/2015
Rockets vs Suns
Nuggets vs Lakers