Christian Wood, Ben McLemore return to Rockets for Friday’s game

Ben DuBose
·2 min read

Starting center Christian Wood and reserve guard Ben McLemore were each available to the Houston Rockets for Friday’s home game versus Orlando, according to a pregame update by head coach Stephen Silas.

Wood missed Wednesday’s game with left knee soreness after bumping knees late in Monday’s loss to Dallas. A 6-foot-10 big man, the 25-year-old has been a revelation this season — averaging 23.6 points (55.3% FG), 10.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 35.8 minutes per game. Those per-game numbers rank 21st, 14th and third in the league, respectively.

Meanwhile, McLemore has yet to play in the 2020-21 regular season after reportedly testing positive for COVID-19 in late December and being subject to a mandatory period of self-isolation. Last season, McLemore averaged 10.1 points in 22.8 minutes per game off the Houston bench, and his 40.0% clip on 3-pointers led the team.

Danuel House Jr. (back spasms) will miss his third straight game and is still walking “slowly and gingerly,” though Silas said that House had improved from earlier in the week — when he was struggling to walk. As such, House’s status remains day-to-day. In the absence of Houston’s usual starter at small forward, that could free up minutes for McLemore to play on the wing. Wood, as usual, will start at center.

Friday night’s game at Toyota Center between the Rockets and visiting Magic tips off at 7:00 p.m. Central.

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