7 p.m. at HOUSTON • Toyota Center • FSN, 830-Am
Preview: The 45-22 Rockets ended a rare three-game losing streak — all on the road — with Monday’s 124-86 home victory over Utah. They haven’t played since then, a fact that Wolves coach Rick Adelman duly noted since his team will be playing the second game in yet another back-to-back schedule situation. Before beating the Jazz, the Rockets went winless on that trip to Oklahoma City, Chicago and Miami. … Rockets All-Star center Dwight Howard will miss his second consecutive game because of a hurting left ankle. He had a portion of a cyst and fluid removed from that ankle Wednesday. Omer Asik is expected to start in his place for the second consecutive game. Until Monday’s game against the Jazz, Howard was the only Rocket who had played in every game.
Players to watch: Rockets All-Star guard James Harden is fifth in the league in scoring (24.6) and second in free throws made. He and Miami’s LeBron James are the only players in the NBA on pace to average at least 24.5 ppg, 5.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.5 steals. He has scored 30 or more points 16 times this season, and the Rockets are 11-5 in those games. … Howard missed Monday’s game because of an ankle strain.
Injuries: Wolves C Nikola Pekovic (sore foot/ankle) is doubtful, C Ronny Turiaf (knee bone bruise) is out. Rockets F Greg Smith (knee surgery) and Howard are out. F Omri Casspi (flu) and Howard (ankle strain) are listed as day to day.