Houston has lost its first four games of the young season and hasn't started 0-5 since the 1999-2000 campaign. It kicked off the 2010-11 season with consecutive losses at the Lakers and Warriors, followed by back-to-back home defeats versus Denver and New Orleans.
In Wednesday's 107-99 loss to the division-foe Hornets at the Toyota Center, Kevin Martin and Aaron Brooks both scored 18 points and Yao Ming added 15 points in his usual limited time on the court. Yao has been restricted to about 24 minutes a game due to his previous foot ailments. Dating back to the end of last season, Brooks has made at least one three-pointer in 19 straight contests.
Luis Scola finished with nine points and a game-best 16 rebounds for the Rockets, who have led at halftime in all four of their games this season and held the Hornets to 43 points at the break. Houston is 0-1 in division play after going recording a 9-7 record against Southwest Division inhabitants a year ago.
"I think guys are trying to do too much. They're trying to make plays they shouldn't be making. They're trying too hard to make something happen," Rockets head coach Rick Adelman said. "We hurt ourselves more than we help ourselves."
The Spurs, who opened the new season with a win versus Indiana, registered a 112-110 victory at Phoenix Wednesday night behind a season-high 28 points from Richard Jefferson. Tim Duncan chipped in 25 points and 17 boards for San Antonio, which made 54.5 percent of its shots and got 18 points and five assists from Manu Ginobili.
Tony Parker had 11 points and six assists in a rematch of last year's Western Conference semifinals won by Phoenix in four games.
"You've got to score against Phoenix," San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich said. "Last year in the playoffs we couldn't score. Last year their bench murdered our bench. They still have a great bench but hopefully ours is improving over last year. We've got some guys that can score and are a little more athletic."
Spurs guard George Hill (neck spasms) is probable for Saturday's game.
Houston and San Antonio split four games a year ago, while the Spurs are 21-10 in the previous 31 meetings between the rivals. Houston has lost 21 of its last 25 contests in the Alamo City.
Late breaking news according to Rockets.com's Jason Friedman is that Yao Ming will not play in this game. Jordan Hill will start.
Follow along with your fellow Rockets fans at The Dream Shake.