The Houston Rockets and New Orleans Hornets have been two of the NBA's hottest teams recently.
One day after swapping several key reserves, the teams will try to extend their respective winning streaks when they meet on Friday night in New Orleans.
The Rockets (34-20) will try to win 11 in a row for the first time since opening 1993-94 with 15 consecutive victories en route to an NBA title. Houston is in seventh place in the West - four games behind the conference-leading Hornets (37-15), who have won five straight and 14 of 17.
Both teams will be seeing some familiar faces in new uniforms. In a swap of guards prior to Thursday's trading deadline, New Orleans dealt Bobby Jackson and rookie Adam Haluska to Houston for Mike James and Bonzi Wells.
Wells is averaging 9.2 points and 5.1 rebounds in 22.1 minutes per game, while James is averaging 6.5 points in 33 games.
"We wanted to add a little bit of presence on our bench in the form of players who could give us some scoring punch," Hornets general manager Jeff Bower said. "This trade dramatically improves our team by giving us proven veteran scorers at the backup guard and swing positions."
Houston also was enthusiastic about the deal, which reunites Jackson with Rick Adelman, who coached him for five seasons in Sacramento.
"We've always liked him as a player, but having his familiarity with Coach, Coach's system, he's a guy that can step right in," Houston general manager Daryl Morey said. "With the West the way it is, you don't want to have a big transition period.
"I think a lot of the teams that added players are going through that right now. We're hoping with Bobby that transition is a little shorter than others."
Jackson is averaging 7.1 points in 19.3 minutes. He was 5-of-9 from 3-point range and finished with 17 points Wednesday in the Hornets' 104-93 win over Dallas.
Jackson joins a Houston team coming off a 112-100 win over Miami on Thursday. The Rockets shot 53.8 percent from the field and outscored the Heat 41-26 in the first quarter
Tracy McGrady scored 23 points and Yao Ming added 21 for Houston. Rafer Alston said it was bittersweet playing just hours after the trade.
"We lost a couple of guys that were well-liked around here, well-liked in the locker room," he said. "That's the business side of basketball, but you've got to go out there and play."
The Rockets also picked up swingman and Houston native Gerald Green from Minnesota for guard Kirk Snyder before the deadline.
Chris Paul, meanwhile, will try to build off a big game for the Hornets. He scored 31 points, added 11 assists and a career-high nine steals in the win over the Mavericks.
Paul scored 19 in the third quarter, hitting all seven of his shots
"It's fun to watch. I was getting pumped up," said Hornets center Tyson Chandler. "Tonight was unbelievable. The guy was all over the place. He took a personal challenge to go out and just, I mean, he was incredible. I haven't seen anything like that in a while."
Paul, who is averaging 20.7 points this season, has averaged 25.7 the last three.
The Hornets beat the Rockets 87-82 on Jan. 13 in Houston. New Orleans has won three of its last four home games against the Rockets.
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