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Houston Rockets vs. Atlanta Hawks game preview

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

For the second time in as many games, the Rockets get a break and face a team on a back-to-back. And it’s in Houston!

After a brutal schedule in January all season, Houston’s February slate is a sight for sore eyes. With plenty of time at home and the All-Star Break for rest, this month should be the cure for all that ails that Rockets.

First, they have to play Dwight Howard and the Atlanta Hawks. After a surge after the Paul Millsap trade rumors put them in fourth place in the East, the Hawks have fallen to fifth place and are just a few games in front of the gaggle of Eastern Conference teams that could all end up fighting for the 4 seed.

The Hawks remain one of five NBA teams that Houston hasn’t beaten yet this season, as the Hawks won the first matchup in Atlanta when they were playing well early and Houston was on the first of their 17 different five-game road trips (all stats approximate).

Obviously, tonight marks the return of Dwight Howard to the Toyota Center. He spent three years in Houston, each with varying degrees of success. Still, last year was clearly acrimonious and the Rockets clearly had little belief that they could convince him to stay in H-Town.

Tonight, let’s remember the good times.

Tip-off is at 7pm CT on TNT.

Wait, the game is on TNT? Who will the TNT crew root for since the two entities they hate the most (the Rockets and Dwight) are playing against each other? For the answer to this all-important question, check out the broadcast. Or watch Root Sports, because no one needs to hear Shaq and Chuck bash the Rockets out of bitterness.