Rockets try to stay unbeaten, visit Philadelphia

( – The Houston Rockets will try to become the NBA’s first
4-0 team Monday night when they visit the Wells Fargo Center to take on the
Philadelphia 76ers.

The Rockets have enjoyed an easy schedule thus far in the 2014-15 campaign
with road wins over the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz, then a home victory
over the Boston Celtics on Saturday. Those three teams own a combined 3-7

The Sixers are winless early in the season, and they can become the Eastern
Conference’s first 0-4 squad. The Lakers own that ugly record out west.

Against the Celtics, Houston built a 14-4 cushion in the first quarter and
never looked back. They posted a wire-to-wire, 104-90 victory.

All three of Houston’s wins this season have seen the team go over the 100-
point plateau. The Rockets rank seventh in the league in scoring and their
plus-43 scoring margin over opponents is the highest through the first three
games in franchise history since the 1993-94 team was a plus-45. That squad,
led by Hakeem Olajuwon, won the NBA title that season.

James Harden filled the stat sheet with 26 points, eight rebounds, six assists
and four steals versus the C’s. Terrence Jones posted 25 points and 10
rebounds for the Rockets and Dwight Howard finished with 14.

“I like the spirit of the team. They’re willing to work and if you’re willing
to work, you’re going to get better,” Rockets head coach Kevin McHale said.

Point guard Patrick Beverley is questionable with a strained left hamstring.
He missed the win over the Celtics.

The Sixers fell to 0-3 thanks to a 114-96 setback in their home opener
Saturday against the Miami Heat. It’s the first 0-3 start for the team since

Tony Wroten had 21 points and 10 assists for the Sixers to lead the way.
Brandon Davies netted a career-high 18 points and Hollis Thompson added 10 in
the setback.

The Sixers shot an admirable 52.2 percent, but went ice cold in the fourth
quarter. Philadelphia was limited to 4-of-15 shooting from the field and 0-
for-5 from beyond the arc over the final 12 minutes.

That performance came one night after failing to score a single point over the
final 8:21 in a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

“We were good for three periods,” said Sixers coach Brett Brown. “We didn’t
roll over. I’ve seen fantastic signs in our first three games. The NBA,
players are so good. It’s unforgiving.”

Monday’s game will be the second of a four-game homestand which will see
Orlando and Chicago come to the City of Brotherly Love.

These two teams split two meetings last season, but Houston has lost three
straight in Philadelphia.