Preview: Former Timberwolves executive/coach Kevin McHale has the Rockets on a streak -- they have won nine of their past 10 and are 12-8 heading into Monday after winning at home Friday against Washington and Saturday against New York. Their only loss since Jan. 11 was a 105-99 defeat at home to Milwaukee on Wednesday. They thumped the Wolves 107-92 last Monday at Target Center. ... This game is Wolves coach Rick Adelman's first back in Houston since he left the Rockets last spring after four seasons as their coach.
Players to watch: Rockets reserve guard Chase Budinger averaged 20 points a game on 57.7 percent shooting (including 6-for-10 three-point shooting) in weekend victories over Washington and New York that starter Kevin Martin missed because of injury. Remember, Budinger scored 35 for the Rockets in the season finale at Target Center last April. Martin scored 31 points in last week's victory at Target Center. ... Rockets starting point guard Kyle Lowry had a triple-double at Target Center last week-- 16 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds -- and is averaging 14.8, 8.3 assists, 6.6 rebounds and two steals a game.
Injuries: Wolves G J.J. Barea (hamstring) missed his ninth game in the past 10 on Sunday but was expected to accompany the team to Houston on Sunday night. G Malcolm Lee (knee surgery) is out. Center Darko Milicic has been feeling ill the past several days and is questionable. Martin is expected to play after missing the past two games because of a sore heel. Rockets G Courtney Lee was involved in a car accident but appeared to be unhurt; he also is expected to play.