(Preview from The Sports Network)
Tracy McGrady and his Detroit Pistons take aim at a rare winning streak in south Texas Tuesday when they visit the Houston Rockets.
Tonight's game will also mark the return of T-Mac to Houston for the first time since the former All-Star was traded by the Rockets to New York last season, following five-plus years with the franchise.
McGrady, who has a limited role with the Pistons these days, averaged 23.1 points during his time in Houston, helping the club to four different 50-win seasons until chronic knee problems limited his effectiveness.
"There will be some cheers," Rockets forward Chuck Hayes told the team's website. "He was the leader of this team. He did carry this team up until his last year and a half or so. It was unfortunate that his last (impression) here was a bad one, but when he first got here and was healthy, he was a bad boy."
McGrady, who signed with Detroit over the summer, is averaging just 3.8 points per game in 16 minutes of action a night for the Pistons.
Most recently the Pistons snapped a four-game skid on Sunday when the trio of Richard Hamilton, Rodney Stuckey and Tayshaun Prince combined for 71 points, carrying Detroit past the struggling Cavaliers, 102-92.
Hamilton led the way with 27 points, Stuckey scored 24 to go with 11 assists, and Prince netted 20 for Detroit. Ben Gordon chipped in 12 points for the Pistons, who made 9-of-20 attempts from behind the arc.
The Rockets, meanwhile, are coming off a tough overtime loss in Chicago on Saturday. Derrick Rose tied the game at the end of regulation with a three- pointer and made the go-ahead layup late in the extra frame in that one, as the Bulls outlasted Houston, 119-116.
Luis Scola ended with 27 points and eight rebounds to pace the Rockets, who saw a modest two-game winning streak come to an end. Brad Miller had 20 points in a reserve role, while Kyle Lowry tallied 16 points and seven boards in defeat.
The Rockets had hoped to get former All-Star center Yao Ming, who has missed the team's last 13 games with an ankle injury, back tonight but that has already been scuttled.
"It's not strong enough," Yao said of the ankle. "There's no damage, it's just not strong enough to support me running and jumping. We haven't talked about (a new timetable) yet."
Houston, which has also been without injured point guard Aaron Brooks (ankle) since Nov. 6, has taken three of its past four meetings with the Pistons and has won four straight at Toyota Center in this series.