The Houston Rockets are learning how to win in different ways if one or both of their superstars not at their best. They hope to have both Dwight Howard and James Harden at the top of their games when they host the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday. Howard dealt with a tight back and foul trouble while James Harden struggled from the field but the Rockets still managed to pull out a 100-92 win over Memphis on Thursday and have taken two straight.Harden could not get his shot to fall against the Grizzlies so he attacked the paint and ended up scoring 22 of his 27 points from the free-throw line in the win. "Just being aggressive, being aggressive," Harden said of the performance. "I couldn't make a shot. I just tried to get to the rim." Stopping that penetration will be a key for the Pelicans, who have won back-to-back games after trouncing the Denver Nuggets 105-89 on Friday.TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN New Orleans, CSN HoustonABOUT THE PELICANS (13-14): New Orleans picked itself up in the finale of a five-game road trip with a win at Sacramento on Monday and came back from the Christmas break with a strong performance on both ends against the Nuggets. Tyreke Evans is enjoying a hot streak in four games since returning from an ankle injury, averaging 19 points, 9.5 assists and eight rebounds in that span to provide the Pelicans' bench with a boost. "I think (Evans) is getting a rhythm and I think guys are understanding how to play with him," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. "He has the ability to create for other people and he and (Anthony Davis) are starting to get some synergy in pick and roll situations."ABOUT THE ROCKETS (20-11): Harden and Howard get the bulk of the attention but Houston is rounding out its supporting cast with pieces like Chandler Parsons and Terrence Jones, both of whom are capable of putting up big offensive nights. Jeremy Lin came through in the fourth quarter on Thursday but the big boost came from Donatas Motiejunas, who could not get off the bench in the previous three games but stepped in for Howard and played tough defense in 23 minutes. "D-Mo played excellent basketball," Howard said. "He did everything quick. He got into pick and rolls and he ran the floor well. He got some easy buckets. He played great defense."BUZZER BEATERS1. Houston has taken four of the last five in the series and four straight at home.2. New Orleans G Eric Gordon (hip) and C Jason Smith (knee) both sat out Friday and are questionable.3. Parsons has scored at least 14 points in 10 straight games.PREDICTION: Rockets 109, Pelicans 105
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