3-6
82 -
Team 1 2 3 4
HOU 20 23 24 15
CHA 23 16 14 17
70
2-8

Rockets-Bobcats Preview

AP - Sports

The Houston Rockets are giving up the most points on the road of any team in the NBA, but the potential return of starting guard Kyle Lowry may provide a spark.

The Charlotte Bobcats have struggled plenty on their home floor.

The teams hope to end their respective losing streaks when they meet Tuesday night in Charlotte.

Houston (2-6) has lost its first five road games by an average of 16.2 points, allowing a league-worst 110.2 points per game in those contests. The Rockets fell 109-94 on Friday at Oklahoma City before losing 98-95 at home Saturday as the thunder completed a home-and-home sweep.

Luis Scola scored a season-high 28 points Saturday for the Rockets, who have lost four straight overall and have been held below 100 points in seven of their eight contests.

Despite the loss, Scola claimed to be happy with how Houston played.

"I think we played a great game,'' Scola said. "(Oklahoma City) is one of the best teams in the NBA right there. At the end, we put ourselves in a situation to win the game. They were just too good. They made some great plays, and at the end of the game, it comes down to great players making great plays.''

Goran Dragic scored 20 points and had eight assists in his second straight start in place of Lowry, who has been nursing a bruised right foot.

Lowry, second in the league with 10.0 assists per game, returned to practice Monday and hopes to be back in the lineup against Charlotte.

"I'm sore, but better," Lowry told the Rockets' official website. "Hopefully my foot reacts well to the treatment and practice and hopefully I can go out there and play.

"I feel like I let my team down by being hurt - that's the truth. I hate not being out there and being able to play with my teammates. The way they played on Saturday night - it was just an incredible effort that they gave and it made me sick to my stomach that I couldn't be out there to help."

The Bobcats (2-7) could use some help of their own after falling 91-87 at New York on Monday for their third straight defeat. They've lost seven of eight since beating Milwaukee in their season opener.

D.J. Augustin, who shot 4 for 13 and finished with 12 points, missed a potential game-tying 3-point attempt with four seconds remaining.

"The last play of the game we got a wide-open 3 from our best 3-point shooter. So I can't fault us at all for the effort,'' coach Paul Silas said.

Boris Diaw had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Bobcats, who committed 17 turnovers. Charlotte's only victory in its current slump was a 118-110 win at New York last Wednesday, when Diaw had a season-high 27 points.

The Rockets have won nine of the last 11 meetings with the Bobcats, including a 94-78 victory behind 21 points from Kevin Martin on March 16. Augustin had 22 points that contest.

The Bobcats, though, have taken the last two matchups in Charlotte. Diaw had 20 points and 10 rebounds in a 99-89 home win over the Rockets on Nov. 26, 2010.

Charlotte will be without forward Tyrus Thomas, who is sitting out due to fatigued legs. Thomas, who missed the first six games with a sprained left ankle, is averaging 7.7 points and 5.3 rebounds.

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