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Raptors In Town As Rockets Try To End New Year At .500

The Houston Rockets hope to bounce back from a tough loss to one of the NBA's top teams when they finish up a three-game homestand tonight against the Toronto Raptors.

Dwyane Wade recorded a season-high 45 points on Wednesday as the Miami Heat won their 10th in a row on the road, 125-119, over the Rockets and helped stop Houston's eight-game home winning streak.

Luis Scola had 22 points, Kevin Martin 21 and Aaron Brooks chipped in 20 points and nine assists for Houston, which lost for the first time in six games overall and fell to 9-5 on its home floor.

"We thought we had a good chance to win this game, but we didn't do enough," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said.

Houston also received some bad news on the injury front during its off day on Thursday when forward Chuck Hayes sprained his right ankle at the end of practice.

Hayes landed on the foot of a teammate and rolled his ankle while doing so. He was then carried off the floor and immediately taken to a local hospital for an X-ray and MRI, which revealed what the Rockets called a severe sprain. The team expects Hayes, who Adelman referred to as the team's best interior defender, to be sidelined for two-to-four weeks.

The injury-ravaged Raptors, meanwhile, snapped a three-game skid on Tuesday in Dallas against a Dirk Nowitzki-less Mavericks team. Rookie Ed Davis notched career-highs with 17 points and 12 rebounds off the bench in that one as Toronto won in Big D, 84-76, for the first time in over a decade.

DeMar DeRozan and Linas Kleiza both finished with 16 points and Amir Johnson added 12 for Toronto, which had not won in Dallas since December 1999.

"It's great. It's a great team effort," Raptors guard Jerryd Bayless said. "I think everyone did their job."

Already shorthanded coming in, Toronto lost Bayless in the fourth quarter to an ankle injury. The Raptors were already without Jose Calderon (ankle), Andrea Bargnani (strained calf), Reggie Evans (fractured foot), Sonny Weems (back spasms) and Peja Stojakovic (swollen knee).

A pair of off days could help Calderon, Bayless and Weems get back in the lineup tonight as all three are listed as questionable. Bargnani, however, is doubtful and Evans and Stojakovic remain out.

The Rockets have won three straight over the Raptors in Houston but Toronto did beat them north of the border this season, a 106-96 triumph back on Nov. 19.

Follow the action with fellow Rockets fans at The Dream Shake

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