With the Rockets bringing a three-game losing streak into Tuesday’s game against the Clipper, forward Patrick Patterson returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Dec. 14, his last game before missing seven with a bruised right foot.

He moved back in as a starter in time for a stretch of games against Blake Griffin, Dirk Nowitzki and David West, and was happy with the assignment.

“I’m happy and excited to finally get my starting spot back,” Patterson said. “I’ve been wanting it since I first came back, but we were in a groove with Marcus in the starting lineup. Coach said he would put me back in the starting lineup so I’m definitely happy. Of course I feel better than coming off the bench, but as long as I’m playing I’m happy overall.”

– Reported by Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle Blog