Patrick Patterson Starts in Place of Injured Luis Scola As Rockets Host Celtics

Despite sitting last in the Southwest Division, the Houston Rockets are still very much in the hunt for a spot in the Western Conference playoffs, sitting just two games back of Memphis for eighth place. Resting their best player won't help them much.

The Rockets will once again be without Luis Scola on Friday night, as the power forward misses his fifth straight game with a sore left knee against the visiting Celtics. Rookie Patrick Patterson will start in place of Scola, who hasn't played wince March 7 in Sacramento.

Scola played in all of the Rockets' first 65 games this season. The team is 33-32 with him in the lineup and 2-2 without him.

Patterson, who turned 22 years old on Monday, is coming into his own after watching the first two months of the Rockets' season from the bench. He had 12 points and 10 rebounds in a Wednesday win over the Bobcats, his second career double-double. Patterson will be matched up with 14-time All-Star Kevin Garnett on Friday against the Celtics.

Here's the lineup card for C's-Rockets:

Celtics
Rajon Rondo, PG
Ray Allen, SG
Paul Pierce, SF
Kevin Garnett, PF
Nenad Krstic, C

Rockets
Kyle Lowry, PG
Kevin Martin, SG
Chase Budinger, SF
Patrick Patterson, PF
Chuck Hayes, C

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