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Rockets, Raptors, Commence Slap Fight For Fourth Win

(Sports Network) - The Houston Rockets will try to get back on track when they head north of the border this evening to take on the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre.

The Rockets have dropped two in a row since a two-game winning streak and lost for the third time in five tries with Wednesday's 116-99 setback at Oklahoma City. Luis Scola finished with 26 points and eight rebounds in defeat.

Kevin Martin tallied 19 points for Houston, which was outrebounded by a 43-40 margin and committed 17 turnovers. Needless to say head coach Rick Adelman was not pleased.

"We just didn't do as well in the first half. They'd kill us on the boards, then we'd turn it over 13 times," Adelman said. "Along with those two things, I don't know what they had. They had about 18 more shots than we did in the first half. You know, it's almost 30 points off those two situations. We don't have the margin of error to have that happen, and expect to win."

Houston trimmed the deficit to 75-69 on Martin's layup midway through the third quarter, but Houston went cold after that and fell into a 15-point hole.

Aaron Brooks (ankle) missed his sixth straight game, while Yao Ming (ankle) was sidelined for his fourth consecutive contest for Houston.

Toronto just went 2-2 on a four-game road trip and will begin a three-game homestand tonight versus the Rockets, Celtics and 76ers.

In Wednesday's 94-86 win at Philadelphia, Andrea Bargnani scored 30 points and Sonny Weems delivered a career-best 25 points for the Raptors, who got 12 points, eight assists and five rebounds from Jose Calderon to snap a two-game losing streak.

"We were sloppy in the first half. In the second half we were better," Toronto head coach Jay Triano said after rebounding from a 109-94 loss at Washington the night before.

The Raptors snapped an 85-85 tie with a 9-1 run to close the out game. In injury news for the team, guard Leandro Barbosa (shoulder) has missed five games in a row and is questionable for Friday.

Houston and Toronto have split the last four home-and-home series. The Rockets have prevailed in 11 of the last 20 meetings with the Raptors, who have won three straight and six of the last seven as the host in this series.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.