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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Rockets' Dwight Howard not expected to play tonight in L.A.


By on 4/08/2014 09:00:00 AM

Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard is not expected to suit up tonight against the Lakers, according to Marc Stein on Twitter. Howard is suffering from a strained ankle and has missed the last five games due to the injury. 

Since Howard has been out the Rockets have gone 2-3, but his replacement in the starting lineup, Omer Asik, has played beyond good. So good that it's possibly a deciding factor in coach Kevin McHale's decision in bringing back Howard right now. He knows how important Howard is, and with the playoffs a certain for the Rockets - his priority is a completely healthy superstar center. 

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In the past five games, Asik is averaging 12.0 points, 16.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks on 57.9 percent shooting from the field in 35.8 minutes per game. In their last matchup against the Nuggets, Asik put in 18 points, 23 rebounds, three steals and three blocks all in a winning effort. You can't ask more from a guy who has been riding the bench for the majority of the season.

With only six games remaining on the schedule, Howard's status remains day-to-day, but uncertain. Houston will play three games in the next four days, all being on the road. So it might be possible he will come back in time for their last two homes games against the Pelicans and Spurs. 

The Rockets are currently fourth in the Western Conference with a record of 51-25, two games up on the fifth place Trail Blazers. 

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