In the first meeting, the Rockets posted an 80-69 triumph at
New Jersey on November 15. Jim Jackson, who has since been
traded to New Orleans, paced Houston with 18 points and Tracy
McGrady added 14.
Jefferson scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for New
Jersey, which has lost three straight on the road.
Just hours after learning that Jefferson would miss the rest of
the season with a wrist injury, New Jersey dropped an 89-80
decision against the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday.
Jefferson had played in seven games since suffering the injury
in a game against Detroit on December 27.
Carter scored 19 points and Travis Best added 16 off the bench
as the Nets shot just 37 percent (32-of-86) in Tuesday's loss.
Five Nets scored in double figures, but it was not enought to
overcome double-doubles by Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace.
Houston is coming off back-to-back victories, including a
124-114 triumph over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.
McGrady scored 30 points on 12-of-19 shooting and dished out 11
assists. Over the past five games, McGrady has averaged 30
points, seven rebounds and seven assist.
Juwan Howard scored a season-high 29 points and David Wesley,
who was acquired from the Hornets for Jackson, added 21 as
Houston shot 61 percent (47-of-77) from the floor.