With the Rockets bringing a three-game losing streak into Tuesday's game, forward Patrick Patterson returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Dec. 14, his last game before missing seven with a bruised right foot.

He moved back in as a starter in time for a stretch of games against Blake Griffin, Dirk Nowitzki and David West, and he was happy with the assignment.

"I'm happy and excited to finally get my starting spot back," Patterson said. "I've been wanting it since I first came back, but we were in a groove with Marcus (Morris) in the starting lineup. Coach said he would put me back in the starting lineup, so I'm definitely happy. Of course I feel better than coming off the bench, but as long as I'm playing I'm happy overall."

Morris had made just two of six shots in each of the previous three games, averaging 5.3 points and 2.3 rebounds. Patterson also struggled, averaging 4.9 points and 4.7 rebounds in those games.

D-League stint proves valuable

Rookie Patrick Beverley returned to the Rockets on Tuesday in time to provide depth if Jeremy Lin was unable to return from his sprained left ankle. Lin started against the Clippers, but Beverley said he was better prepared to play for the Rockets having played in three games with their NBA Development League affiliate.

"For sure, I think the Development League is a very good place to get better," Beverley said. "I came in with an open mind. I want to get better. I want to improve. I had a couple good games there, got (my) confidence up. I think the transition will be much easier."

Signed by the Rockets on Jan. 7, Beverley averaged 13.7 points, seven assists, 6.7 rebounds and two steals in three starts with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.