Rockets’ P.J. Tucker, Nene ruled out for preseason opener Tuesday

Veterans P.J. Tucker (sore back) and Nene (tight calf) were ruled out for the Rockets preseason game Tuesday in Birmingham, Ala., though Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni called the issues “Just normal aches and pains.”

Backup centers Isaiah Hartenstein (sprained right ankle) and Zhou Qi (sprained ankle) were upgraded to questionable. Zhou sat out training camp in Lake Charles with Hartenstein missing the final two days.

Tucker, the Rockets’ starting power forward, remained in Friday’s scrimmage when he tweaked his back, but sat out Saturday and said the issue is not much of a concern.

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