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February 28 - Houston Rockets

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  • February 28 - Houston Rockets

    ESPN Preview:

    The Houston Rockets entered the All-Star break on a three-game winning streak while leading scorer Kevin Martin appeared to break out of his shooting slump. There's little reason to believe a visit from the Toronto Raptors will cool either off.

    Martin and the Rockets look to win their fifth straight at home over the Raptors on Tuesday night and continue their strong overall play at the Toyota Center.

    Houston lost seven of its first 10 games, but enters the second half tied for fifth place in the Western Conference with the Los Angeles Lakers.

    The Rockets (20-14) won three straight before the All-Star break after dropping three of four. They defeated Atlantic Division-leading Philadelphia 93-87 on Wednesday to improve to 14-4 at home.

    Only Miami, Oklahoma City, Chicago and San Antonio have better winning percentages since Jan. 13.

    "I'm never going to say we're overachieving, or underachieving," guard Kyle Lowry said. "I think we're a good team, and I think we're going where we're supposed to be going."

    Houston has a good chance to stay hot in the second half. Six of its first eight opponents out of the break have losing records, and it will face the two above-.500 teams at home.

    That upcoming stretch combined with wins over Memphis and Philadelphia last week have the Rockets feeling good.

    "We beat two playoff teams," forward Patrick Patterson said. "Two great teams with great players and this is great momentum for us. It is something we can hang our heads high on and just keep the momentum, keep pushing forward, stay positive and just focus on the task at hand."

    One player who had an up-and-down first half was Martin. But after averaging 7.3 points on 26.7 percent shooting from Feb. 4-14, Martin averaged 19.4 points and shot 49.2 percent in the final five games before the break.

    Martin scored 14 of his 16 points against Philadelphia in the fourth quarter.

    "I finally woke up," Martin said. "All-Star break, the closer it gets, it can kind of mess with your mind."

    Martin has averaged 25.8 points in his last four games against Toronto.

    The Rockets and Raptors have split their last 10 meetings, with Houston winning the most recent 114-105 at the Toyota Center on Dec. 31, 2010. Its four consecutive home victories in the series have come by an average of 13.7 points.

    Toronto (10-23) snapped a four-game skid with a 103-93 win over Detroit last Wednesday, just its second victory to conclude a seven-game homestand.

    "We definitely needed that," said DeMar DeRozan, who scored 23 points. "I hope it carries over into the second half."

    DeRozan averaged 20.4 points in his last seven games before the break, but he might not have to shoulder as much of the load starting Tuesday. Leading scorer Andrea Bargnani (23.5 points per game), who has missed the last 14 games with a calf injury, is traveling on the team's two-night trip to Houston and New Orleans and could play.

    DeRozan, who scored a career-high 37 points in last season's loss at Houston, isn't the only Raptor playing well in Bargnani's absence. Jose Calderon averaged 18.0 points and 10.5 assists in his last six games before the break, totaling only nine turnovers.

    In his last three road games, however, Calderon has totaled 12 points, 14 assists and 10 turnovers.

    The Raptors are 5-12 away from home. They've been outscored by an average of 14.7 points in losing all nine road games to teams with winning records.

    Burn from ESPN in the opening paragraph.

  • #2
    if barbosa's a healthy scratch my head will explode


    • #3
      Game day thread.

      Wanted to make a thread for Raptors's games where we could comment on the game, before, during, after.

      P.S. James Johnson & Calderon is kind of getting me angry cause James Johnson keeps taking shots, and Demar keeps looking off Amir and Demar.


      • #4
        Davis playing pissed off love it


        • #5
          Im lovin' the energy from both Demar and Ed tonight. Ed is grabbing the boards and getting extra possessions, and Demar is taking it to the rim.


          • #6
            Ed with 10 boards in 11 mins very good to see


            • #7
              That Kleiza 3 before the half would have been huge, dude can't buy a bucket tonight.


              • #8
                Refs are making so many questionable calls.. Raps can't catch a break.
                Liked the dunk by Demar
                "Masai WILL win us a championship"
                - Tim Leiweke

                Ujiri: "One thing I can say for sure is that we will not be stuck in the middle."

                Reporter: "How can you say that?"

                Ujiri: "Because I can say that."


                • #9
                  It's like they tipped Jose on who was interested in him and he's trying to play himself off their wish list


                  • #10
                    If anyone tries to defend Bayless as a potential starting PG again after the last 3 minutes of the 3rd quarter, I think I'll lose my mind. The guy couldn't even get the ball past the 3-point line without getting picked by Goran f*cking Dragic, and then lets the same All Star Houston PG blow by him with less than 3 seconds left on the clock to end the quarter with a layup. Egads.
                    Definition of Statistics: The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures.


                    • #11
                      And what happened in the 1st half?? I came home with 9 minutes to go in the 3rd and the Raptors only had 38 points!?
                      Definition of Statistics: The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures.


                      • #12
                        Lowry is just eviscerating Calderon


                        • #13
                          They look better in the zone, can cover up for a hot shooter vs. weak defender...
                          Definition of Statistics: The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures.


                          • #14
                            Is there a reason DeMar and Jose aren't closing out the game?


                            • #15
                              Chr1s1anL wrote: View Post
                              Is there a reason DeMar and Jose aren't closing out the game?
                              Is Barbosa being showcased or something?