As rumours of Dwight Howard and a possible trade request continue to swirl, the big man and his Houston Rockets team will travel to Los Angeles on Thursday to play the Lakers in the NBA at the Staples Center.
Recent reports have suggested that Howard is not happy with Houston's offensive scheme, and has, therefore, requested a trade, especially with the Rockets struggling to get the right results this season.
Howard, though, played down those reports, insisting he plans to stay with Houston this season, even if the center is expected to opt out of his player option for next year and become a free agent.
"I haven't said nothing to nobody about anything," Howard was quoted as saying by ESPN. "I've been positive, trying to turn this thing around any way possible.
"People always going to make up lies or rumours to get off. But I haven't said nothing or anything to anybody.
"That's never been a focus. [The focus is] to try to get these guys to play better, to make myself to play better."
The Rockets did not play too well in their last game, going down 107-97 to the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday. While James Harden continues to score points, those points are just not transforming to wins with Houston currently 12-14 for the season. Maybe a charged-up Howard, like he always is against his former team, is what Houston requires to turn their season around and go above .500 and beyond.
"Whatever it is, we need to play harder and figure it out," Harden was quoted by the Associated Press after the loss. "That's the type of messages that are sent.
"Our defence will get there, but we have to make it get there. We're showing spurts on defence but we are not consistent."
The Lakers ended a six-game losing slump – one of them against the Rockets on Saturday – with a 113-95 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, with Kobe Bryant, in his farewell season, impressing again.
Bryant will hope to find his shooting mojo another time against the Rockets as the Lakers target what will be just their fifth win of the season.
Where to Watch Live
Houston Rockets vs Los Angeles Lakers is set to begin at 10.30 pm ET (9 am IST, 1 am GMT) start. Sony Six and Sony Six HD will broadcast the match live in India. The NBA match can also be watched via live streaming online on Sony Liv.
Audience in the US can watch Houston Rockets vs LA Lakers live on TNT, while the action can also be live streamed on TNT Online.
BT Sport will show the the match live in the UK and Ireland, while the live stream option is on Watch BT Sport.
Audience from around the world can watch the NBA action live on NBA online.