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News » ROCKETS SUMMARY 2009-04-02


TONIGHT: Rockets at PHOENIX Suns

When/where: 9 p.m.; US Airways Center.

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

Key matchup: Yao Ming vs. Shaquille O'Neal. O'Neal averaged 17.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in the first two games against the Rockets, but Yao controlled the boards, averaging 14 rebounds and 16 points against O'Neal.

Rockets update: The Rockets clinched a playoff spot with the Suns' loss to the Kings on Sunday, making the remaining eight games about playoff positioning and seeding. The Rockets won each of the previous two meetings with the Suns and have split their past eight games in Phoenix.

Suns update: The Suns are clinging to slim playoff hopes. They lost all three games of a road trip. In addition to losing Amare Stoudemire for the season, guard Leandro Barbosa is out with a bruised left leg.

Tough games on tap

The Rockets' first game since clinching a playoff spot will pit them against the Phoenix Suns, whose Sunday loss assured the Rockets' place in the postseason. The Suns' are in their long-shot chase of Dallas for the last Western Conference playoff spot.

"We can't really concern ourselves with Phoenix's plight at this point because we're working toward some other things, some other bigger goals in terms of what our team needs to do," Rockets guard Brent Barry said.

The Rockets do get to address those goals against teams with plenty at stake.

"You have a team fighting for its playoff lives in Phoenix," Shane Battier said. "They need every win they can get.

"And the Lakers are fighting for home-court advantage through the playoffs so they'll play their best game against us."

Enough practice already

The Rockets have played just one game, Saturday's 110-93 victory over the Clippers, in a week. They considered the break, and its four practice days, useful, but long enough.

"I think we needed the break a little bit, but I think the guys are ready to play games now," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "It's been one game in seven days when we're used to playing three in seven days.

"They get tired of practicing, I think. They're ready to play games."

No timetable on Landry

Rockets forward Carl Landry, out since March 17 with a gunshot wound, on Tuesday went through a few shooting drills for a second consecutive day, but there is still no timetable for his return to full practices or games.

"He was really not exploding or anything else off that leg," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "I really don't know how long that it's going to be.'

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 2, 2009


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