Miami (17-33) at Houston (27-23)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Houston, TX
Temp: 76° F
  • Game info: 8:30 pm EST Fri Feb 14, 2003
  • TV: SUN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

HOUSTON (TICKER) —The Houston Rockets hope to hand the Miami Heat a fifth loss in six games when they match up at the Compaq Center on Friday.

The Heat, who are opening a four-game road trip, capped a 1-3 four-game homestand with a 78-69 setback to New Orleans on Tuesday.

Eddie Jones scored 26 points and Malik Allen 14 but rookie Caron Butler scored only 11 on 4-of-13 shooting.

The Heat shot just 36 percent in the defeat.

Jones, Miami’s leading scorer, will miss the game and Saturday’s contest at Dallas because of a strained left groin aggravated in the loss to the Hornets, though he may rejoin the team for games Monday and Tuesday at Detroit and New Jersey. The Heat went 1-6, including 0-5 on the road, last month when Jones was hampered by a sprained right ankle.

Houston had lost three in a row before routing Utah at the Delta Center on Wednesday in the back end of a home-and-home series, 106-76.

Steve Francis scored 36 points and Yao Ming 15 for the Rockets, who shot 53 percent and limited Utah to 38 percent.

The Rockets defeated the Heat in Miami on December 16, 105-100 in overtime. Francis sent the game into an extra session with a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

The Heat have won the last two matchups in Houston.

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