Even though it's only a symbolic break in the season, every NBA team yearns to be on its best behavior, in terms of its record, when the All-Star Game comes to town. As of late, it's worked out in most years. Save for a split decision at Los Angeles in 2011 (when the Lakers were up and the Clippers were down), the last NBA team to host the league's best with a losing record was the Rockets at 22-31 prior to the Feb. 19, 2006, game at Toyota Center. The Rockets enters Saturday's game against Charlotte with a two-game cushion above break-even at 25-23, but the team also faces a daunting schedule prior to the Feb. 17 game at Toyota Center that a winning record at the break is by no means a sure thing. Winners of four of their past six in the wake of their seven-game losing streak, the Rockets' February pre-break schedule after the Bobcats includes the Heat on the road, a West Coast swing at Sacramento, Golden State and the Clippers and home games against the Warriors and the Blazers, who are 2-0 against the Rockets this season. "It's a tricky schedule for us," guard Carlos Delfino said. "We have a lot of victories against the East Coast teams, and we need to get more West Coast victories. Those are the ones that are going to give us the playoff pass or not."
All-Star hosts Rockets have work to do before break
Houston Chronicle | Feb 2