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News » ROCKETS SUMMARY 2009-02-27



When/where: 7 p.m.; Toyota Center.

TV/radio: TNT; 610 AM, 850 AM (Spanish).

Key matchup: Ron Artest vs. LeBron James. In his previous road game, James hit the Bucks for 55 points. He leads the Cavs in per-game scoring (28.5 points), rebounds (7.3), assists (7.2) and steals (1.76). Artest has been a key since replacing Tracy McGrady as a starter, averaging 20.2 points and hitting 48.3 percent of his 3-pointers.

Rockets update: The Rockets are 13-11 against the East, 7-4 at Toyota Center. They have an eight-game home winning streak, with their five-game overall skein also their longest this season. Forward Carl Landry (sprained ankle) is doubtful.

Cavaliers update: Cleveland is 18-3 against Western Conference teams this season, including a 99-90 win over the Rockets in December. Delonte West, who missed Tuesday's rout of the Grizzlies after coming back Sunday from his wrist injury, is probable. The Cavs' point differential of 10.1 per game leads the NBA.

Coming on strong

Since moving back to the starting lineup with Tracy McGrady out for the year, Ron Artest has been much more effective and consistent than when he filled in for McGrady or Shane Battier.

In the past five games, Artest has averaged 20.2 points and made 48.3 percent of his 3-pointers.

"I'm back on my mojo," he said. "I'm back in the situation I was in the last couple years. I have to believe they're going to try to keep me out of the paint, to not give me open looks and to not give Yao (Ming) open looks.

"It's a great situation to be in when you've got a chance to win. That's the only thing that's going to define individuals: how the team does."


After the Portland Trail Blazers threw the predictable fronting defenses at Yao Ming down the stretch Tuesday, holding him without a shot or point in the final 5? minutes, the Rockets went to work Wednesday on ways to take advantage of such defenses.

"We talked about things we have to do and make sure we're in the right spots," coach Rick Adelman said. "If they take something away, you should have an answer for it. I said that was going to be a problem for us going like we are. In the past, we've gone to Tracy (McGrady). Now we have a different group. We have a young point guard (Aaron Brooks). We had Rafer (Alston) before, who knew what he was doing. It's just repetition."

Brooks admitted he made a few mistakes on play calls but said other changes have been made.

"I think we were a little selective in our play-calling," he said. "That's on my part. We have to find different ways to get Yao the ball. We didn't do that last game, but we have some other stuff in mind.

"We have to work on different ways to score in the fourth quarter."

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: February 27, 2009


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