--The Rockets were determined to build a safe lead early enough that Kyle Lowry and Luis Scola would not have to play in the fourth quarter Tuesday. With both battling soreness, the Rockets wanted to pack them in ice as soon as possible, but the team had another reason to save energy.
Houston will go from facing a Nets team it has beaten in eight consecutive meetings in New Jersey to facing the 76ers, who have won six of the past seven meetings.
"They keep kicking our tail every time we play them," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "They did it again this year before the All-Star break. Doug (Collins) has done a nice job getting them organized. They really come after you. I watched them against Chicago. They just went after Chicago. That's what gives us problems because they're very athletic. They can really attack the basket, and we don't have a lot of basket protection. That type of team gives us a lot of problems."
--Kyle Lowry winced when he put on a shoe after sitting out Tuesday's shootaround.
"I'm sore," Lowry said. "I'm hurting."
He was not, however, out.
Lowry played with a sore left foot that had made him questionable for the game, and in just 29 minutes finished with 16 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. He was still in pain after the game.
"Right now, it's really tender, it's really sore," Lowry said. "But it's a good win for us. It's worth it."
QUOTE TO NOTE
"We're playing with a lot of confidence right now. I was really pleased with the energy we had. After losing in Miami, played pretty good but didn't defend them very well. Tonight, I thought we did a nice job." -- Coach Rick Adelman, after Tuesday's win at New Jersey.
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