The Houston Rockets hope to have new guard Derek Fisher in time for today's game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center.
Fisher, a five-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, won't have to travel far for this matchup after he was shipped to Houston before the trade deadline in exchange for forward/center Jordan Hill. Fisher has yet to report to his new team, however, and the Rockets could buy out the $3.4 million player option for next season remaining on his contract.
"I want to express my deepest gratitude to Derek for everything he has meant to this organization over the years," said Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss. "Few who have worn the Lakers uniform have done so with as much class as Derek, both on the court and in the community."
Fisher, in his 16th NBA season, averaged 5.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists while shooting 38.3 percent from the field in 43 games for Los Angeles this season. The Rockets also got center Marcus Camby from Portland before Thursday's trade deadline. Camby has a home in Pearland, TX.
"I'm excited about our chances to be in the playoff race right now, and I'm ready to go," the veteran big man told the Houston Chronicle.
The Rockets have won two straight and three of four games, and will begin a quick trek Saturday against the Clippers and Suns. They are coming off Wednesday's 107-87 drubbing of the Charlotte Bobcats in Space City, as Luis Scola scored 23 points and Goran Dragic added 14 and 10 assists. Hill had 14 points and Samuel Dalembert finished with 12 and 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who were without starting guards Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin.
"It's two games in a row," said Houston guard Courtney Lee. "It's big for us to continue to keep winning."
Lowry (bacterial infection) is still sidelined and leading scorer Martin (shoulder) is listed as questionable. Lee is probable with an injured finger.
Los Angeles acquired guard Nick Young from Washington as part of a three-team deal and sent forward Brian Cook and a future second-round draft pick to the Wizards.
The Clippers have lost five of seven games and suffered a 91-87 setback versus Phoenix on Thursday. Blake Griffin paced all scorers with 25 points and Caron Butler netted 14 for the Clippers, who are 1-3 on a six-game homestand and 13-8 as the host this season.
"I was not pleased with our effort from start to finish. They outworked us," said Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro. "We kept them in it. They made a run at the end and stole the game."
Chris Paul had 10 points and 11 assists in a losing cause. The Clippers will close out the homestand Sunday versus Detroit and have beaten the Rockets twice already this season. Houston is still 13-5 in the past 18 matchups between the two teams and has won eight of 11 and 12 of its last 16 as the visitor in this series.