By Jean-Paul Salamanca (staff@latinospost.com) | First Posted: Feb 02, 2013 08:59 AM EST

James Harden, left, and Jeremy Lin, right, look to get some momentum going tonight against the Charlotte Bobcats at 8 p.m. (Photo : Reuters)

The Houston Rockets (25-23) are facing one of their biggest test of the season next week-a date with LeBron James and the world champion Miami Heat.

And after a tough loss in Denver on Wednesday, the Rockets are going to need to gain some momentum back if they want to beat the champs. They might get their chance when they take on the Charlotte Bobcats (11-34) on Saturday.

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The Rockets have lost six of their last 10 games, their three-game winning streak having ended after the Nuggets beat them 118-110 on Wednesday.

But they're running into an opponent in the Bobcats who have lost eight of their last 10 games and have been struggling consistently all season. And in their first meeting Jan. 21, the Rockets beat the Rockets off James Harden's 29 points and 21 points off the bench from Marcus Morris.

Their next and last meeting Saturday will take place at 8 p.m. in Houston, Texas.

Latinos Post breaks down the key matchups for tonight's game.

 

Power forward:  Hakim Warrick, Bobcats vs. Patrick Patterson, Rockets

Warrick provides experience, but only a few modest contributions in points and rebounds (both in single digits this season). His main objective will be to play tough defense against Patterson, who has scored 11.4 points over five games and is shooting 62 percent from the field. With the right bounce, this could be the exact game Patterson needs to get a little momentum going behind his offense.

Advantage: Rockets


Small forward: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bobcats vs. Chandler Parsons, Rockets

The No.2 draft pick in last year's draft, Gilchrist hasn't been as impactful as other draft picks such as Portland's Damian Lillard or New Orleans' Anthony Davis. Parsons, meanwhile, is coming off a stellar 21-point, 61-percent shooting night against Denver on Wednesday. He's starting to get back his offensive form, and with a big night Saturday against Charlotte, he'll pick up the momentum he needs against Miami on Monday.

Advantage: Rockets


Center: Bismack Biyombo, Bobcats vs. Omer Asik, Rockets

Biyombo has the makings of a superb rebounder and shot-blocker, having swatted 3.2 shots in his last five games. Asik has been a rebounding beast-not a term to be used lightly, but no better term is more appropriate to describe his 14.4 boards in the last five games. If he can continue his rebounding dominance and add in double figures in points, he could make life very miserable for Charlotte.

Advantage: Rockets


Shooting Guard: Gerald Henderson, Bobcats vs. James Harden, Rockets

Henderson has held steady at the two-guard spot this season with 12.5 points and shooting a respectable 42.4 percent. Unfortunately, Henderson is about to run into one of the hottest scorers in all of basketball in Harden, who scorched the Bobcats in January for 29 points.

Advantage: Rockets


Point Guard: Kemba Walker, Bobcats vs. Jeremy Lin, Rockets

Walker is unquestionably the Bobcats' best player, having scored 21.0 points with 5.6 assists in the last five games. He can score, he can dish, he can flat out play, period. After struggling for the last few games, Lin has started to pick it up in the last three games. His 22-point, five-assist game on Wednesday is a good sign that he's ready to take things to the next level this month approaching the second half of the regular season. But with a date against Miami on Monday, Lin will have to use this opportunity to play as hard and aggressive as possible to get into shape for the world champions.

Advantage: Even


Game Time, TV Schedule

Game time starts at 8 p.m. EST. Live score is available via TV Companion, here.

Live Streaming
Live Streaming for the Game is can be seen via NBA League Pass.

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