It’s official: Dwight Howard will return to Rockets’ lineup Wednesday

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We knew it was coming; now it is official.

Howard has played just 32 games for the Rockets this season; it has taken all of James Harden’s will — and ability to draw fouls — to keep the team in the top three. Howard’s return should help the Rockets up front, especially with Terrence Jones out with a partially collapsed lung. Howard’s rim protection is needed as the Rockets head to the playoffs.

This stat may be the real key: Houston is 9.8 points per 48 minutes better when Harden and Howard are on the court together. That is what they need come the postseason.

Howard and Harden had a long talk in Denver — with Jason Terry in attendance — where Howard told Harden not to let up when he returns. Keep attacking. It’s on Howard to adjust to what is working, not Harden to change that. If Howard is true to his word, the Rockets just became a much tougher out