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Preview: Rockets At Raptors

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(credit: Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)

(credit: Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)

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The Houston Rockets haven’t struggled this much since the very beginning of 2012, but another date with the Toronto Raptors may be just what they need to get back on track.

Houston seeks to avoid a season-high fifth straight defeat Wednesday night when it visits sputtering Toronto.

The Rockets (21-18) are coming off consecutive overtime losses, falling 105-103 to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday and 97-92 at Boston on Tuesday.

Those defeats are part of a four-game skid that matches their worst this season. They also dropped four straight Jan. 3-7.

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 Houston took an 88-85 victory vs. Toronto (2/28/12), giving the Rockets five wins in a row at home over the Raptors. With a 114-105 win in the prior game vs. Toronto (12/31/10), the Rockets posted the first consecutive wins in this series since the Raptors took three straight from 12/21/05-2/28/07. The two clubs had alternated wins and losses over the previous 10 meetings.

 The Last Time: The Rockets recorded an 88-85 win over Toronto (2/28/12) despite shooting .387 (29-75 FG) from the field and dropping the battle of the boards by 10 (37-47). Kevin Martin went 3-of-4 from the free throw line over the final 11.7 seconds for the deciding points in the game. Kyle Lowry had a game-high 26 points (8-12 FG, 4-4 3FG), while Luis Scola notched 15 points (5-12 FG) and 10 rebounds. DeMar DeRozan, who had 37 points (12-21 FG, 13-14 FT) last season at Houston (12/31/10), led the Raptors with 17 points (6-14 FG). James Johnson registered 16 points (6-12 FG), eight boards and three steals. Ed Davis matched his career high with 15 rebounds off the bench, including 10 boards in the first half alone. Overall, the Rockets set a season low in field goals made (29-75 FG). Houston held Toronto to 2-of-17 from beyond the arc.

 Series Notes: The Raptors used a 31-point fourth quarter to take a 106-96 decision at Air Canada Centre (11/19/10), marking Houston’s fourth consecutive loss in Toronto … the Houston bench outscored the Raptors reserves, 65-23, vs. Toronto (12/31/10), aiding in a 2010-11 season-best 42 second-quarter points … the Raptors reserves outscored the Rockets bench (46-11) at Toronto (11/19/10) and (31-17) at Houston (2/28/12) … Patrick Patterson posted the first double-double of his career with 15 points (6-9 FG) and 10 boards vs. Toronto (12/31/10) … Kevin Martin led all five starters in double-figure scoring with 31 points (8-16 FG, 4-7 3FG, 11-11 FT) at Toronto (11/19/10), while Kyle Lowry had 11 points, 12 assists and a team-high seven rebounds … Luis Scola owns two 20-point, 10-rebound games against the Raptors (21-15 on 12/13/09 and 20-16 on 3/3/09) … three Raptors had double-doubles at Houston (12/31/10): Linas Kleiza (17 pts., 12 rebs.), Amir Johnson (14 pts., 11 rebs.) and Jose Calderon (11 pts., 11 assts.).

 Connections: Rockets forward Chase Budinger and center/forward Jordan Hill were teammates with Raptors guard Jerryd Bayless at the University of Arizona.

 Houston shot .387 (29-75 FG) from the field and dropped the battle of the boards by 10 (37-47) in an 88-85 win vs. Toronto (2/28/12). It was the first time the Rockets won a game when shooting .387 or less and getting outrebounded by double digits since the team was in San Diego: 110-108 victory (.356 FG% and -20, 53-73 rebounds) at Seattle (12/20/70).

 The Rockets matched their season-high 57 rebounds (43 defensive) at Boston (3/6/12) and took the battle of the boards by 19 (57-38), which snapped Houston’s string of 10 consecutive games of getting outrebounded. Houston also had 57 boards (43 defensive) at Charlotte (1/10/12).

 Houston has now played in two overtime games in a row (3/4/12-3/6/12). The most consecutive OT games played by the Rockets is three: Nov. 17-20-24, 1976 and Nov. 26-29-Dec. 1, 1999.

 Samuel Dalembert totaled 11 points (4-11 FG, 3-4 FT) and a season-high-tying 17 boards at Boston (3/6/12), which included 12 second-half rebounds. Dalembert set his season high with 17 boards vs. New Orleans (1/19/12) and matched it with 17 rebounds vs. Milwaukee (1/25/12). He also posted 17 points (8-14 FG), 12 rebounds and three blocks vs. the L.A. Clippers (3/4/12), giving him consecutive double-doubles. Overall, Dalembert has notched six double-doubles in 2011-12 and a team-high 13 double-digit rebounding games.

 Chandler Parsons registered 12 points (5-8 FG) at Boston (3/6/12). Parsons has now reached double-figure scoring in a season-best three consecutive games (3/2/12-3/6/12).

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