"They're different and similar too in many ways with their athleticism," Rivers said before tipoff. "I just want DJ to be DJ, and i don't want him thinking about what the other guy is doing much at all."
Howard is a three-time defensive player of the year, and Jordan has often said he is aspiring to win that award.
Rivers, however, said he didn't mention anything in particular for his center to try to take away from the Rockets' big guy.
In fact, he said he hardly spoke of Howard at all.
"I didn't mention it once today other than 'DeAndre, you have Dwight,' " Rivers said.