HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – Jeremy Lin will return to the Rockets’ lineup Friday night after missing the last two games with a chest contusion. The point guard, who injured his chest in Game 2, will not be a starter but playing off the bench.  Lin had been struggling in the Rockets-Thunder series, scoring just 13 points through the first three games.  Patrick Beverley, who has averaged 15 points over the last two games, stepped up in Lin’s absence and his defensive skills have matched up well against the Thunder.  Teammates expect Lin to be rusty but would welcome a dose of Linsanity to catapult the Rockets to a win.

“It’s tough. We’ve been in a kind of a groove but we are glad to have him back. He’s going to come out here and play with some energy and give us what he gave us all season,” James Harden said.

“Any time you get a guy back who means as much as he does to our team, it’s huge. I think it would give us more momentum tonight,” added Chandler Parsons, “I’m excited to have him back for sure.”

Harden will be starting despite having strep throat.  Coach Kevin McHale said that Harden’s health has definitely improved over the last 48 hours.  Harden missed practice Wednesday but still managed to put up 31 points and went 7-9 from three-point range in the Rockets’ 107-100 win in OKC.

“James looks better today. He looked really rough in Oklahoma City the last game.” McHale said during the Rockets’ shoot around.

Carlos Delfino is being x-rayed and examined by doctors for bone spurs in his left foot.  Delfino, who has been battling issues with his foot for several weeks, did not participate in Friday’s shoot around.  A decision on Delfino’s playing status will be made later today.


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