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Old 03-21-2009, 10:21 PM   #1
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Talking Rockets-Spurs Preview - 3/22/09

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Rockets-Spurs Preview



The Houston Rockets weren't even assured of a playoff berth when Tracy McGrady played his final game of the season Feb. 9, but thanks to an impressive run without their seven-time All-Star, they're suddenly on the brink of taking over the division lead.

A road victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday afternoon would vault the red-hot Rockets past their in-state rivals and into a slim lead in the Southwest Division heading into their final 10 games of the season.

"Who would've thought we'd be here?" Houston forward Shane Battier said. "We've stayed the course, stayed together and we've set ourselves up for this matchup."

Coming into the season, the Rockets (46-25) had high hopes of surpassing the Spurs and earning their first division title since 1993-94 - a quest seemingly derailed by inconsistency and injuries to McGrady and veteran Ron Artest.

But they've been at their best since McGrady's last appearance, even after the star guard decided on season-ending knee surgery last month. Houston has gone 15-4 since the last time McGrady saw the court.

Although the Rockets lost 88-85 at home to San Antonio last Saturday, they've now won three straight while the Spurs (45-23) have dropped two of three, cutting Houston's deficit to a half-game even though San Antonio still holds a two-game edge in the loss column.

A victory Sunday would give the Rockets a slightly better winning percentage than the Spurs, who've played three fewer games.

The teams sit in second and third overall in the Western Conference, although five other clubs are within four games of San Antonio - including New Orleans, which is two games back in the division.


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Old 03-21-2009, 10:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: Rockets-Spurs Preview - 3/22/09

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