After a 3-7 start to the season, the Houston Rockets have fought and clawed their way to an 18-14 record, putting them in a tie for the No. 6 seed in the West with the Memphis Grizzlies.
But with four teams within two games of Houston, they can ill afford to drop Monday night's game against Memphis, a home contest against a fellow mid-tier Western Conference playoff contender.
Rockets C Sam Dalembert was benched Sunday night for missing the team's shoot-around against the Utah Jazz, but Houston will need his interior defense to match up with Grizzlies C Marc Gasol, who made the first All-Star Game of his career this season as he stepped into the role created by injuries to Zach Randolph and Darrell Arthur.
Memphis' star front-court tandem of Gasol and SF Rudy Gay combined for 38 points in their 93-83 victory over the Rockets on Feb. 14.
Houston was paced by PG Kyle Lowry's 24 points, and he could be in line for another big game tonight, as he has the clear physical edge over Grizzlies PG Mike Conley Jr.
For more on the Rockets, head over to The Dream Shake, while Straight Outta Vancouver has you covered for everything you need to know about the Grizzlies.