James Harden, Dwight Howard expected to miss Thursday's game

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Two Houston Rockets stars, James Harden and Dwight Howard, are tentatively scheduled not to make the trip to face the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night, according to a source.

Harden suffered a bruised right knee in the first half of Sunday's game against Orlando and missed the next game on Tuesday at Phoenix. Harden did make the trip to Phoenix, but not attending the game against the defending champs isn't considered a big deal. Rockets officials want Harden to rehab and rest his knee.

Howard has a sore back and missed the last two preseason games mainly as a precaution.

Coach Kevin McHale has said he wants to monitor the playing and practice time of Howard in an attempt to minimize health issues. Howard missed a career-high 41 games last season due to health issues.

Harden, who led the NBA in minutes played last season, is said to be fine physically and missing the game Thursday at Golden State is also a precaution.