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Houston Rockets Roll Past Thunder with Clippers, Magic on Horizon

Denton Ramsey@DentonRamseySenior Analyst IDecember 21, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 03:  Trevor Ariza #1 of the Houston Rockets dunks the ball against the Golden State Warriors during an NBA game at Oracle Arena on December 3, 2009 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

That theory that Houston can’t handle the second game of back-to-backs?

Throw that crap out the window.

The Rockets took care of business on Saturday night at Toyota Center, holding on for a 95-90 victory behind Trevor Ariza’s 31 points.

With both Carl Landry and Chase Budinger out with injuries, the short-handed Rockets did what they needed to down the stretch while winning their second straight game.

“I just think people get talking about being surprised; I think this team is competing and that’s what you have to do in this league to win,” Houston head coach Rick Adelman told Rockets.com staff writer Jason Friedman. “That’s one thing about our team is they compete. It’s kind of been this way all (year); last night our two point guards give us 51 points and eight today, so somebody else stepped up. Tonight it was Chuck [Hayes] and David Andersen gave us a big lift in the fourth quarter. Trevor was terrific and might have [Anderson] probably got a little tired. But we had to get through this game and get the win.”

So what’s the latest regarding Landry (teeth) and Budinger (ankle)?

According to Friedman, Landry is listed as day-to-day after undergoing a root canal and two dental bridges (to repair the damage done in Dallas), while Budinger will be wearing a walking boot and is expected to miss a minimum of two weeks (with a moderate to severe right ankle sprain).

In two days, the Rockets return to the hardwood to face the LA Clippers at home (Tuesday, Dec. 22) before once against tackling a back-to-back and traveling to Orlando for a road matchup with the Magic on Dec. 23.

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Houston then gets two days off for Christmas before hitting the court for another round of back-to-backs on Saturday, Dec. 26 (at New Jersey) and Sunday, Dec. 27 (at Cleveland).



Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at denton.ramsey@gmail.com

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