After defeating San Antonio 105-85 Thursday night, the Houston Rockets embark on one of the dreaded back-to-back-to-back stretches of games in the lockout-shortened season, with a road game at Memphis Friday night before returning for a home game against Atlanta on New Year's Eve.
The Rockets dominating win over their long-time Southwest Division rival erased some of the stench of the team's failed pursuit of Pau Gasol in the off-season, with their two main trade chips in the cancelled three-way deal, Kevin Martin and Luis Scola, combining to score 43 points on 19-29 shooting.
Memphis, which defeated San Antonio in the first round of the 2011 playoffs, will provide an even bigger test for the Houston defense.
The 0-2 Grizzlies, after losing a 98-95 nail-biter to Oklahoma City on Wednesday, are still looking for their first victory of the new season.
They have one of the NBA's best front-courts, with Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol all capable of commanding double teams on the interior.
Houston will need huge games from raw third-year big man Jordan Hill as well as free agent acquisition Sam Dalembert, as no NBA team runs more offense through the low post than Memphis.
However, losing reserve big man Darrell Arthur to a season-ending knee injury has really hurt their depth, and this is the type of game the Rockets deep second unit could steal for them.
The 7:00 PM game will be televised regionally on FSN Houston.