The Houston Rockets will spend plenty of time at home over the next few weeks. Unfortunately for them, Tuesday is not one of those nights.
The Rockets look to snap a four-game road losing streak and win their eighth in a row over the Charlotte Bobcats, who are looking to match a franchise record with their fifth straight home victory.
Beginning a stretch of 10 of 12 games at home, Houston (21-16) snapped a three-game overall slide with Saturday’s 105-96 victory over the New York Knicks. Led by Luis Scola’s(notes) season high-tying 23 points, the Rockets won their seventh straight at Toyota Center.
Houston, though, is averaging 91.8 points and shooting 41.7 percent during a four-game road losing streak. The Rockets haven’t dropped five straight away from home since Dec. 23, 2008-Jan. 6, 2009.
“We can’t think about (our strong play at home) too much, we need to think more about the way we play,” Scola said. “If we play the way we’ve played the last three games, it doesn’t matter who we play or where we play, we’re going to lose. We’ve got to play hard, we’ve got to share the ball, we’ve got to be focused and active.”
The Rockets will likely need to execute that gameplan to get their fourth straight win in Charlotte, where the Bobcats (16-19) have the East’s fourth-best home record at 13-4. The Bobcats have won four straight at Time Warner Cable Arena, one shy of the franchise record set Nov. 23-Dec. 18 of the team’s inaugural 2004-05 season.
“I know my hang time is a lot longer than his,” Wallace said of Felton. “So I’ll be up there for a minute.”
The Bobcats have lost seven straight to the Rockets since a 111-106 double-overtime win at home on Jan. 10, 2006. Even with a hard-fought 91-86 victory at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 13 of last season, Houston has won the last seven matchups in the series by an average of 16.2 points.
The Rockets, though, could be tested against a Bobcats team that is among the league’s best defensively at 92.9 points per game. At home, Charlotte is holding teams to 90.6 points and 43.1 percent shooting.
The Bobcats are among the NBA’s lowest-scoring teams at 92.7 points per game, but Wallace and Stephen Jackson(notes) are averaging a combined 44.0 points as Charlotte has won four of five after dropping seven of its last 10 in December.
“You take the shots that the defense gives you,” Murray told the Bobcats’ official Web site. “If they’re giving you wide-open shots, you have to take them. I’m not going to turn down the open shot.”
Rockets forward Carl Landry(notes), who is among the league’s leading scorers off the bench with 16.8 points per game, is shooting 58.5 percent from the field over the last five games. He scored 10 of his 14 points in the final 6:26 on Saturday when Houston rallied from a 13-point first-half deficit.
The Rockets and Bobcats finish the season series April 9 in Houston.