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  • Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap said he is sticking with his starting five of Jeff Adrien, Bismack Biyombo, Gerald Henderson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Kemba Walker for Saturday’s matchup with high-scoring Houston, despite the lineup’s lack of offensive firepower. Charlotte has been held to less than 86 points in back-to-back defeats with this group, but Dunlap said he finds Adrien to be a better fit for his roster than former starter Hakim Warrick. “[Adrien] is physical. He can get in a crowd and get you a tough rebound,” Dunlap said. “I just think that he gives you somebody that you know will show up every day. On those two games, he’s been everything we thought he’d be.”
  • Houston center Omer Asik has crashed the glass with authority in his last three outings, grabbing at least 16 rebounds in each contest. His dominance on the boards has played a pivotal role in the Rockets’ offensive resurgence over the last three games, during which they have average 118.0 points overall and 23.7 on the fast break. “Omer’s rebounding has been really huge for us,” McHale said. “When he’s rebounding like that and making the outlet pass, we can get up the floor and control pace. … If we can defend, rebound and get out and run, get some pace into the game, we’re fine offensively.”
  • Houston (25-23), which is 11-3 this season when it connects on at least 40.0 percent of its 3-point attempts, will look to exploit a Bobcats perimeter defense that has been shaky of late. Charlotte (11-34) has allowed three of its last four opponents to drain at least 48.0 percent of their attempts from behind the arc.
  • Bobcats forward Tyrus Thomas did not experience any setbacks during this morning’s shootaround and will be available after missing Wednesday’s loss at San Antonio with a left knee contusion. Center Byron Mullens (ankle), who has not played since Dec. 22, practiced Friday but is on the inactive list.

Matt Miller


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