|SPURS||Richard Jefferson 20.0||Tim Duncan 10.8||Tony Parker 7.0|
|ROCKETS||Kevin Martin 23.3||Luis Scola 14.5||Aaron Brooks 6.3|
The Rockets (0-4) remain surprisingly winless after four games and are coming off a 107-99 loss to the New Orleans Hornets. The same team that handed the Spurs their first regular season defeat.
The Spurs (3-1) are slowly getting their rhythm and will try to build momentum from an exciting 112-110 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
The Rockets are a gritty team and are controlling the boards. They are averaging 45.3 rebounds after four games, compared to the Spurs who are only averaging 40.0 rebounds per ball game. However, the Rockets have to focus on defense. They have allowed an average of 114.5 points per game in their first four outings.
George Hill could be available for the game after missing the game in Phoenix because of a trapezius muscle injury in the second quarter due to a flagrant-foul 2 by Los Angeles Clippers’ Craig Smith. It will be interesting to see on how the Spurs will manage DeJuan Blair and Tiago Splitter’s minutes against Houston Rockets’ imposing frontline with Yao Ming and Luis Scola.
The division rivals have split their last eight meetings in San Antonio. Houston Rockets’ leading scorer Kevin Martin will play his first game in San Antonio in a Rockets uniform.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Offense — Tim Duncan will need more help in the middle against the taller Rockets. It also means that the Spurs’ outside shooters need to be sharp in this game to open their inside game. Richard Jefferson, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker’s dribble penetrations will also be key.
Offense — The Rockets have a good inside and outside combo in Scola and Martin but they also have a lot of offensive weapons. Entering this game, five Rockets are averaging in double figures.
Defense — It will be key for Houston to take away the Spurs’ inside game, but they also have to be wary of the Spurs’ outside shooters and passing game. They Spurs are currently 3rd in assist in the NBA, averaging 25.8 dimes per ball game. Another note is, for as much as the offensive power the Rockets have at the guard position with Brooks and Martin, both are not known for defense which is something the Spurs should take advantage of.
Spurs — George Hill – trapezius muscle (day-to-day), Matt Bonner – sprained right ankle (out).
Rockets — Brad Miller – ankle (day-to-day)