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New Look Rockets Host Deron Williams And Nets

(Sports Network) - Deron Williams and the New Jersey Nets are set to close out a three-game road trip tonight against the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center.

The Nets have lost four straight and seven of the last nine games, and fell to 0-2 on the road swing with Friday's 106-96 setback to the NBA-best San Antonio Spurs in the Alamo City. Williams, acquired in the deal from Utah that sent Devin Harris and Derrick Favors to the Jazz, posted 14 points and 12 assists in his New Jersey debut.

Anthony Morrow scored 25 points and Brook Lopez provided 13 points and eight boards for the Nets, who weren't able to stop the Spurs from recording their 20th consecutive win at home and fell to 4-26 as the guest.

"It was a tough first game against the best team in the league right now," said Williams. "I thought we played hard. We had some chances and I thought we just missed some shots and messed up a couple defensive assignments late in the game."

The Nets will return to Newark, NJ after tonight's game for a seven-game homestand versus Phoenix, Toronto twice, Golden State, LA Clippers, Boston and Chicago.

Houston has won two straight and six of its last nine games, including Wednesday's 124-119 victory at Cleveland. Kevin Martin and Chase Budinger had 30 points apiece for the Rockets, who recorded their fourth straight road win. Budinger's 30 points were a career high and he also grabbed eight rebounds.

Courtney Lee and Luis Scola each netted 16 points, while Chuck Hayes powered his way to 12 points and 17 rebounds. The Rockets also had a 57-37 advantage on the boards and scored 20 points off 10 Cavalier turnovers.

"Second half we finally started playing harder," said Houston head coach Rick Adelman. "We just did not defend in the first half at all."

The Rockets are 15-13 in Space City this season and four games off the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference.

Houston and New Jersey are meeting for the first time since the Rockets swept a home-and-home series for a fourth straight year last season. Houston has won 11 of 12 and 13 of the past 16 meetings with New Jersey, losers in four straight and 16 of 19 visits to the Toyota Center.

Follow along with fellow Rockets fans at The Dream Shake.

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