Charlotte (28-38) at Houston (34-34)

By MATT BEARDMORE, STATS Writer Tuesday, Mar 15, 2011 Tipoff: 8:30 pm EDT Wed Mar 16, 2011

The Charlotte Bobcats opened their trip with a rare road win. Posting a victory in Houston has also been an uncommon occurrence for them.

Charlotte seeks its first three-game winning streak since January when it tries to defeat the Rockets on the road for the first time in more than six years Wednesday night.

The Bobcats (28-38) stopped a season-high six-game losing streak with a 97-92 victory over Portland on Friday, then began a four-game trip with a 95-90 win over Toronto on Sunday.

“We played really hard and didn’t have any letdowns,” coach Paul Silas said after his team ended a five-game road skid and improved to 11-22 away from Charlotte.

The Bobcats, battling Indiana for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference, last won three in a row Jan. 25-28. They may have a good chance to equal that run with leading scorer Stephen Jackson(notes) and Tyrus Thomas(notes) having returned and Gerald Henderson(notes) fitting nicely into the starting lineup.

The second-year guard is scoring 14.1 points per game - 6.0 more than his season average - while starting nine contests since Gerald Wallace(notes) was traded to the Trail Blazers last month.

“He’s special, man,” Jackson said after Henderson scored 18 points Sunday. “That’s one reason why they traded Gerald Wallace. They want him to play, he’s the future of this franchise. … He’s been big for us this year and he’s the reason we still even have a chance to get to the playoffs after a six-game losing streak.”

Henderson has not faced the Rockets (34-34), as he didn’t play in either matchup last season and missed the Bobcats’ 99-89 home win Nov. 26 with a sore left knee.

Charlotte has dropped five straight on the road in this series by an average of 16.4 points. Its only road win over Houston came by a 90-87 score in its first visit Dec. 22, 2004, which gave the club its only season sweep of the Rockets.

Houston will try to extend its home-court domination of the Bobcats as it continue a season-high six-game stretch at the Toyota Center.

The Rockets led Phoenix by 14 in the second half Monday, but had to hold on for a 95-93 win as Jared Dudley(notes) missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

“Our guys hung in there,” coach Rick Adelman said after his team avoided a third straight defeat. “We gotta get a win where we can get it.”

Houston trails eighth-place Memphis by three games in the West.

“We know we’re close,” big man Chuck Hayes(notes) said after scoring a career-high 21 points with nine rebounds Monday. “… We just have to control our own destiny, and win as many games as possible.”

For now, the Rockets may have to do that without leading rebounder Luis Scola(notes), who has missed the last three games with a sore left knee.

Houston shot 41.8 percent from the field Nov. 26. Boris Diaw(notes) had 20 points and 10 boards while D.J. Augustin(notes) added 11 assists to lift Charlotte.

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Wednesday, Mar 16