It’s a Southwest Division clash in the Music City. The Houston Rockets are on the road to finish up their season series with the Memphis Grizzlies before we even hit Thanksgiving Saturday night. Houston won for the seventh time in eight games as they destroyed the Suns 142-116 on the road Thursday night. Memphis lost its third straight as they were defeated 116-113 at home by the Pacers Wednesday night. Houston holds a 56-35 advantage in the all-time regular season series between the teams but Memphis has taken two of the three meetings this season.
Houston Rockets Shoot for Eighth Win in Nine Games
Houston bounced back from their loss to the Raptors in a big way as they pulverized the Suns on the road. The Rockets piled up 90 points in the first half and led 120-91 after three quarters before taking the foot off the gas late. Houston led by 22 after the opening quarter and the game was pretty much in hand by that point. The Rockets shot 47.8 percent from the field, knocked down 21 of 44 from beyond the arc and sank 35 of 38 free throws. Houston also won the rebounding battle 51-47 and had seven players in double figures. James Harden led the way with 48 points plus seven assists in the win.
The Rockets are above average offensively: they are 2nd in the league with 113.1 points per game. Houston is 12th in rebounding with 44.9 boards per game and 15th with 22.1 assists a night. The Rockets are 14th in scoring defense as they allow 105.3 points per game. James Harden leads the team with 31.8 points per game while grabbing 4.8 boards and dishing out 10.1 assists a night. Eric Gordon is putting up 21.5 points per contest while Clint Capela averages 13.1 points plus 11.4 rebounds a night. PJ Tucker and Ryan Anderson (12 points, 5.8 rebounds) each are key secondary options this season. Nene Hilario, Trevor Ariza (10.8 points, 5.2 boards, 1.43 steals), Chris Paul and Luc Mbah a Moute are key pieces in the rotation as well. Paul missed the last month with a bruised knee and just returned to the active roster Thursday. The Rockets are 13th in the league in field goal percentage, shooting 45.7 percent as a team. Houston is 1st in the league with 15.5 threes a night while the team is 23rd by shooting 34.9 percent from long range this season.
Memphis Grizzlies Hope to Stop Slide, Win Season Series vs. Houston
Memphis dropped their third straight as they were knocked off by the Pacers at home. The Grizzlies have lost six of eight after starting the season with five wins in their first six games. Memphis was down nine after the opening quarter, by 14 at the half and by 13 after three quarters: their fourth quarter rally fell short in the contest. The Grizzlies shot 51.2 percent from the field but went only 8 of 32 from three point range in the game. Meanwhile, Memphis allowed Indiana to shoot 50.6 percent from the field, including 12 of 24 from beyond the arc. Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 35 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and five blocks in the loss.
The Grizzlies enter this contest ranked tied for 23rd in scoring offense in the league as they average 102 points per game. Memphis is in the bottom third of the pack in the league on the glass, ranking 28th with 39.9 boards a night. The Grizzlies are 22nd in the league in assists with 20.4 per game. Memphis stands tied for 6th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 101.1 points per game. Marc Gasol leads the team with 20.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Mike Conley adds 17.1 points plus 4.1 assists a night, rookie Dillon Brooks contributes 9.4 points a game while Tyreke Evans adds 18.5 points plus five rebounds per game. James Ennis III, Chandler Parsons, Mario Chalmers, Brandan Wright and Andrew Harrison are key pieces in the rotation for Memphis. The Grizzlies are 16th in the league in field goal percentage as the team shoots 45.4 percent from the floor. Memphis is tied for 22nd in the league with 9.6 threes per game and 26th in the league as they shoot 33.5 percent from beyond the arc.
- Rockets are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games
- Rockets are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games playing on 1 day of rest
- Rockets are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game
- Grizzlies are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games
- Grizzlies are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall
- Grizzlies are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game
Memphis is reeling right now as they have dropped six of eight to fall back to the .500 mark. Houston is rolling at the moment and decimated the Suns on the road Thursday night in an offensive barrage. The Rockets are getting healthy, especially with Paul’s return to the lineup after missing all but the opening game of the season. The Grizzlies are at home but they simply can’t keep up with Houston, especially when they are firing on all cylinders. Look for the Rockets to get the victory in this contest.
Pick: Houston Rockets
Memphis has stumbled over the last couple of weeks and is in danger of falling under the .500 mark on the season. The Grizzlies are going to be without Conley for at least the next couple of weeks as he deals with a myriad of injuries. That takes a major cog out of the Memphis offense out of the picture and puts more pressure on Gasol and Evans to carry the load. Houston is piling up points of late and their demolition of Phoenix was a warning shot to teams around the league of how dangerous the Rockets can be when they are firing on all cylinders.
The under is 4-0 in the Rockets’ last 4 Saturday games, 5-0 in their last five against Southwest Division opponents and 5-2 in their last seven against Western Conference opposition. Memphis has seen the under go 5-0 in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600, 5-0-1 in their last 6 vs. Southwest Division opponents and 5-1 in their last six against teams with a winning record. This one likely falls short of the total as Memphis is sound defensively and their offense is rather mediocre, so it won’t take 115 points for a team to win.