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7 P.M. VS. HOUSTON • TARGET CENTER • FSN, 830-AM

Wolves-Houston game preview

  • December 25, 2012 - 9:42 PM

Preview: Kevin McHale and his Rockets return to Target Center for the first time since February, and what a 10 months it has been. His team signed free agents Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik, made a blockbuster deal for James Harden and still is in the midst of a standoff with first-round pick Royce White, the Minneapolis-raised forward, on how to best handle his anxiety disorder. McHale took a month's leave of absence to be with his 23-year-old daughter, Sasha, who died last month from lupus-related complications. Houston -- the league's top-scoring team at 105.9 points per game -- won its fourth game in a row Tuesday night, pounding the Bulls in Chicago 120-97, the Rockets' third game in a row scoring at least 120 points.

Players to watch: Harden, who had 26 points Tuesday, ranks fourth in NBA scoring with a 25.6 average and has scored 20 or more points in nine consecutive games, the longest such stretch of his career. The last Rockets player to do that was Kevin Martin, for whom he was traded in October.

Injuries: Wolves F Kevin Love (eye) missed Sunday's loss at New York and is probable. G Brandon Roy (knee) practiced Saturday and hope to play again soon, but perhaps not Wednesday. Guards Chase Budinger (knee) and Malcolm Lee (knee) are out. Rockets F Patrick Patterson (foot bruise) is out.

JERRY ZGODA

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