(Sports Network) - A pair of Southwest Division rivals get together this evening in Space City, where the NBA-best San Antonio Spurs take on the homestanding Houston Rockets from the Toyota Center.
San Antonio has won the first two meetings with Houston this season and three straight matchups overall. These two rivals have split the previous 12 contests in Houston.
The division-leading and top-seeded Spurs closed out a four-game homestand with Friday's 108-103 victory over the Sacramento Kings, as Tony Parker scored 18 of his game-high 27 points in the second half and Manu Ginobili registered 24 points and seven assists for San Antonio, which went 3-1 on the residency and won for the seventh time in nine tries.
Tim Duncan compiled 15 points and 10 rebounds in the win.
"I thought our big three pulled it out for us; they dug down deep," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "Tony carried us in the third quarter and then Manu and then Timmy. Those three guys were great tonight. We had to dig deep with them and they were the reason we won the game. I thought Sacramento did a great job."
San Antonio has won 11 in a row and 16 of the last 17 meetings with the Kings. It will begin a three-game road trip tonight against Houston, Miami and Dallas, and owns a 22-9 record away from the Alamo City.
Houston is three games off a playoff spot in the Western Conference and will commence a season-long six-game homestand Saturday versus the Spurs, Suns, Bobcats, Celtics, Jazz and Warriors. It is 17-13 in Space City in 2010-11.
The Rockets lost for the second time in nine tries with Tuesday's 113-100 defeat in Phoenix, as Hakim Warrick finished with a career-high 32 points to lead the Suns. Kyle Lowry paced the Rockets with 32 points, while Patrick Patterson added 18 points off the bench for Houston.
"It's a tough loss, a tough loss," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "We didn't guard them well in the second half and they made us pay."
Houston forward Luis Scola missed the Phoenix game with a sore left knee and is doubtful for tonight versus the Spurs. Scola is averaging 18.5 points and 8.1 rebounds this season. Kevin Martin had 17 points in the recent loss.
The Rockets dropped their seventh consecutive game to Phoenix, matching their longest losing streak in the history of this series. On a more positive note, the Rockets have scored 100 points or more in 13 of 14 contests.
San Antonio is 2-0 against Houston this season and unbeaten in the past three meetings between the teams. These two foes have split the previous 12 games at the Rockets.