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Pregame Primer: Houston Rockets (30-26) at Nets (33-22), 7:30 P.M

Tonight at 7:30 p.m., “Linsanity” returns to the Big Apple for the second time this season as the Houston Rockets head to Barclays Center to play the Nets.

The Nets are coming off a home-and-home sweep of the Milwaukee Bucks, using some late-game heroics to earn the victories.

Houston not only is coming off a come-from-behind win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, but the Rockets also beat the Nets soundly, 119-106, on Jan. 26. The Nets have lost 12 straight overall to the Rockets.



Joe Johnson Day-to-Day

Joe Johnson was not at this morning’s shootaround and will not play in tonights game.

Nets’ general manager Billy King called the injury a “sore heel,” which wouldn’t make it that serious at the moment.

But one report lists the injury as plantar fasciitis, which can be a painful injury.

Lin Thrived in First NY Return

Jeremy Lin didn’t mind the New York spotlight in his first return to the Big Apple. He finished with 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting and dished out nine assists in a win in Madison Square Garden over the Knicks.

The Nets have struggled all season against fast guards, and Lin fits that bill. Brandon Jennings of the Bucks torched Brooklyn the last two games, so the Nets must somehow contain Lin.

Lin may not have the raw speed of Jennings, but he creates plays with his speed. If the Nets come out sluggish, it might be “Linsanity” all over again. Keep in mind, “Linsanity” started last year against the Nets, but it also fizzled out against the Nets as well.

James Harden Coming Off Career-High

James Harden dropped a career-high 46 points Wednesday night against his old team, the Thunder. He nailed 7-of-8 three-pointers as well.

Gerald Wallace will likely draw the defensive assignment against Harden. Harden is a tough cover, since he’s quick off the dribble and deadly with his left-handed shot.

Perimeter defense will be one of the keys for the Nets in this one, not only against Harden but also against Lin and Chandler Parsons.

Hot Shooting from C.J. Watson

The “Quiet Storm” hasn’t been so quiet lately.

Watson was the Nets’ second-leading scorer in Wednesday night’s win over the Bucks with 17 points. He’s averaged 17.7 points over the Nets’ last three-games – all wins.

Brooklyn is 8-0 this season when Watson scores at least 11 points. With Deron Williams playing through injury, Watson will continue to see extended minutes.

No Trades at the Deadline

Despite a whirlwind of rumors, the Nets did not make any trade deadline deals.

That is either a result of not having the right pieces to get a deal done or a sign of confidence by team management in the current roster.

Based on the team’s willingness to make a deal, the first reason is likely why no deals were made. But still, the Nets are on a four-game winning streak against good competition with the team they have.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

The action tips off at 7:30 p.m. and can be seen on the YES Network.