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Jason Terry is 3-3 from the field, Dwight Howard is 4-4 and Josh Smith is 5-5. That's not too bad.
Back in small lineup with Josh Smith, Dwight Howard out, Harden back to matching up with power forwards. Has had to do that a lot this year.
Josh Smith was protesting what looked like a pretty bad call when Kevin Martin said something that cracked him up. Brewer, too.
Josh Smith has 10 points, 4 assists in 12 minutes, going 4-4 FG and 2-2 3P. He's killing TWovles right now w/ dishes to Dwight. 40-26 HOU.
Dwight with four dunks and a goaltending in 7 minutes. Mid-season form already?
Flip Saunders playing Chase Budinger, Justin Hamilton, Sean Kilpatrick early. In other words, he cleared the bench in 2nd quarter.
Josh Smith fires an alleyoop pass to Dwight Howard that was so off it banked right in... and it's a three-pointer.
Josh Smith just banked in a shot that was meant to be an alley-oop for Dwight Howard.
Dwight Howard starting second quarter. Had a pair of dunks in his first four-minute stint. Could get a good six-minute run this time.
Rockets with 13 rebounds, TWolves with just six after first quarter.
After 1 quarter, Rockets lead, 31-22. Harden with 10 and the Rockets are 5-11 from 3. Howard with four points and one rebound in 4 min.
Harden puts up 10 points, 3 assists and Jason Terry knocks down a couple triples and the Rockets lead 31-22 after one.
With Rockets running out of big men, Brewer and Ariza in front court together. Makes it tougher to play one vs. points with Beverley out.
We have two dunks from Howard thanks on feeds from Harden. It's 13-2, Rockets. TWolves dress eight, will play seven.
Thought it'd be interesting to see how Rockets offense clicks in Howard's stints. Tough to tell way scoring so easily, up 11-2 in 2 1/2 mins
This game is not going to go well for the Timberwolves. 11-2 Rockets out of the gate.
Before tip off the entire starting five of the Timber Wolves, hugged Rockets great and HOF Hakeem Olajuwon.
With Capela callup, Rockets have 11 players available, despite huge absences; Wolves only 8. If they have a tug-of-war, Rockets will roll.
Dwight Howard was the first player introduced this evening for the home team.
Second Rockets-Timberwolves game this season with introductions in Spanish. FIrst was in Mexico City. Tonight for Noche Latina.
Excuse me, we missed one. TWolves have eight total players. Andrew Wiggins is the star of the show.
With all of the Timberwolves' injuries, they go with small lineups off the bench. Rockets happily under the circumstances will, too.
Looks like Minnesota will play with seven tonight.
Rockets not in situation would be permitted 16th roster spot, but if they were, Josh Powell would be ready after weeks training with Dwight.
Rockets say Donatas Motiejunas has been "removed from basketball activities" for 1-2 weeks after his back was evaluated today by doctors.
With Motiejunas, Jones, Papanikolaou out, Rockets down to Howard (for 20 minutes), Josh Smith, Joey Dorsey, Capela at center, power forward.
Rockets-Wolves lineups: HOU: Ariza, Smith, Howard, Harden and Terry. MINN: Wiggins, Payne, Dieng, Lavine and Brown.
Rockets announced Donatas Motiejunas experiencing low back pain & tightness and will be out one to two weeks.
D-Mo will be out the next one to two weeks with lower back soreness and tightness.
As mentioned eaelier, Donatas Motiejunas out one to two weeks with low back pain and tightness.
Never got a copy of NBA Guide or Register this yr, but to cover the Rockets this season, might be better off w/ Black's Medical Dictionary.
Rockets move on to lineup No. 15 of the season -- Terry, Harden, Ariza, Smith and Howard -- tonight. Only one lineup for more than 15 games.
Talked to Terrence Jones- no set return for him but he has started to work out again.
Terrence Jones: "Hopefully, if all goes well, get a couple of practices in me, I could be out there as early as next week."
Terrence Jones walks into Rockets locker room. Says he worked out for the first time yesterday. Hopes to return in a week.
Terrence Jones said if all goes well could be back as soon as next week.
Terrence Jones is in the locker room tonight. Nice to see the young fella.
Terrence Jones is still in pain and is probably another week away from returning.
Kevin McHale said Kostas Papanikolaou (ankle) remains out for a week to 10 days. Terrence Jones is still out. Not ready.
Dwight Howard will stay on his prescribed minute plan of 20 despite the being shorthanded up front.
C Clint Capela from Houston’s D-League team, Rio Grande Valley, gets here around 7:10. Not expected to play tonight.
Donatas Motiejunas had some back issues and they resurfaced vs NOLA.
Josh Smith will start in place of D-Mo tonight. Other available big men are Dwight Howard (on a 20 minute restriction) and Joey Dorsey.
Houston PF Donatas Motiejunas (low back pain) is out and Josh Smith will start for him.
McHale laughed when asked if Capela will get time tonight. Said Rockets would need to be either way up or way down for that to happen.
Capela due to arrive at about 7:10. Obviously not in tonight's plans.
Papanikolau another week to 10 days away, McHale said.
McHale confirms Motiejunas out. Smith to start. Would not elaborate.
Donatas Motiejunas (back pain) is confirmed out tonight.
Rockets expect to be without Motiejunas, Jones and Kostas Papanikolaou, leaving Howard, Smith, recalled Capela as only big men.
Only Motiejunas, Trevor Ariza have played in every Rockets game this season. Motiejunas slumped a bit after AS break, but was coming on.
Donatas Motiejunas, already questionable, left shootaround today w/ low back pain. Expect him to be out tonight, likely for road trip, too.
If I ever lose my mind, it will be due to Houston traffic.
Rockets recall Clint Capela from the RGV Vipers. Was not at shootaround today.
McHale worked with NBA directly to set up much of tomorrow's trip. His father, Paul, fought under Patton in WWII.
Rockets could clinch a playoff spot tonight with a win over Minnesota. They play at 7 p.m.
The goal tonight is to play 20 minutes, Dwight Howard said. Against New Orleans, he played 17.
I asked Dwight about his limited minutes. He said, "Tonight I think I get to play for an extra minute,” and seemed pretty happy about that.
When asked did he know with a victory Rockets clinch postseason berth James Harden said "no, thanks for telling me."
James Harden said he pays no attention to the standings. Did not know Rickets would clinch playoff spot with a win tonight.
Dwight Howard said he will play at least 20 minutes tonight. Jason Terry noted Howard is explosive and looking good.
Dwight Howard said he will be up to 20 minutes tonight after held to 16 on Wednesday.
Motiejunas still listed as questionable with a sore lower back. Sat out shootaround.
DMo questionable tonight with lower back pain. He didn't go through shoot around.
Kevin Garnett (sore left knee) and Ricky Rubio (sore left ankle) are doubtful for tonight's game vs Houston.
Donatas Motiejunas (lower back) did not participate in Friday's shootaround.
The worst part about that Kentucky-West Virginia outcome was that it was closer than it looked.
Was nice of West Virginia to show up for the Sweet 16... Oh wait...
Best Rockets can do is vet minimum if they want Sergio Llull.
Source: Rockets have not offered contract to Real Madrid G Sergio Llull. Team doesn't have money under cap for this year.
Oreos and red wine make a perfectly acceptable dinner, right?