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A pair of Western Conference teams square off against each other on the parquet floor in the Lone Star State. The Phoenix Suns are on the road as they make the trip to face the Houston Rockets Friday night. Phoenix was defeated 114-97 at home by Utah in their last game Wednesday night. Houston came up a 106-104 loser at home to Golden State Wednesday night in their last contest. The Suns lead the all-time regular season series 107-104 but the Rockets have won nine straight meetings, including a 118-110 road win in the first meeting this season February 4.
Phoenix Suns Shooting to Get Back on Track
Phoenix had won four of their previous five before being rolled over by the Jazz on Wednesday night at home. The Suns are in the basement of the Western Conference and have been eliminated from playoff contention. Phoenix was up two after the opening quarter, trailed by 10 at the half and cut the deficit to three after three quarters. The Suns ran out of gas as an 11-4 Jazz run to start the fourth quarter pushed the deficit back to 10 and sealed their fate. Phoenix shot 43.9 percent from the field, including seven of 19 from three-point range, and lost the rebounding battle 52-35. Devin Booker led the Suns with 27 points and six assists in the loss.
coast to coast
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) March 14, 2019
The Suns are 24th in the league in scoring with an average of 106.8 points per game. The Suns are 30th on the glass by collecting 40.2 boards per game. Phoenix stands 18th in the league in assists with 23.9 per contest. Phoenix is 28th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 115.9 points a night. The Suns are tied for 16th in the league in field goal percentage at 45.7 percent so far. The Suns are tied for 27th in three pointers per game with 9.6 per contest. Phoenix is 30th in three-point percentage as they splash 33 percent of their chances from long range. The Suns are 5-5 in their last 10 games, ranking tied for 14th in scoring offense with 112.1 points a game and 19th in scoring defense by allowing 114.4 points a night. Phoenix is 23rd in field goal percentage defense (46.8 percent) and 18th in three-point field goal percentage defense (35.6 percent) while ranking 18th in three-point shooting (35 percent) in that stretch. Devin Booker leads the way with 27.7 points plus 6.8 assists per game in the last 10 games. Kelly Oubre Jr. continues to produce after coming over from Washington in the Trevor Ariza deal: he puts up 18.8 points plus 5.8 rebounds a game despite shooting just 33.3 percent from beyond the arc. Deandre Ayton has been solid of late, averaging 15.3 points plus 9.3 rebounds a night while shooting 56 percent from the field in their last 10 games.
Houston Rockets Hope to Regroup After Loss
Houston had won nine in a row before coming up a bucket short against the Warriors at home in their last contest. The Rockets entered Thursday third in the Western Conference, 4.5 games behind the Warriors in the Western Conference race: they are 8.5 games ahead of the ninth-place Kings. Houston trailed by 10 after the opening quarter, by two at the half and by seven after three quarters. The Rockets were down 14 early in the fourth and by 10 with 3:07 to play: they got within one with 10.8 seconds to play but couldn’t complete the rally. Houston shot 47.4 percent from the field, including 11 of 41 from three-point range, and lost the rebounding battle 44-31. James Harden led the Rockets with 29 points and 10 assists in the loss.
.@JHarden13 finished with a double-double in last night's battle.
🏀 10ast pic.twitter.com/vAnFUFSEGN
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) March 14, 2019
The Rockets are average offensively so far this season: they are 12th in the league with 112.9 points per game. Houston is 28th in rebounding with 41.6 boards per game and 29th with 20.9 assists a night. The Rockets are 12th in scoring defense as they allow 110.1 points per game. The Rockets are 26th in the league in field goal percentage, shooting 44.7 percent as a team. Houston is 1st in the league with 15.5 threes a night while the team is tied for 20th by shooting 34.8 percent from long range this season. The Rockets are 9-1 in their last 10 coming into this contest. James Harden, the league’s leading scorer, puts up an average of 33.4 points plus 5.2 rebounds and 6.6 assists a game during that stretch. Chris Paul has stepped up, putting up 14.1 points while dishing out 8.5 assists a night. The addition of Kenneth Faried (10.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, shooting 46.2 percent from the field) has been a massive addition to the rotation since being picked up. That has helped ease the load on Clint Capela (13.3 points, 12.4 boards, 65.5 percent shooting in that stretch) and PJ Tucker in the frontcourt.
- Rockets are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games following an ATS loss
- Rockets are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Friday games
- Suns are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a double-digit loss at home
- Suns are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 Friday games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
We’re looking at two teams at opposite ends of the spectrum in the standings. Houston had won nine straight games before getting upended by the Warriors in their last contest. Phoenix, despite winning four of six, is in the basement of the Western Conference and is out of the playoff picture. The Suns are 6-29 on the road this season and it’s hard to like their chances against a Houston team that is intent on getting back in the win column. Harden and company are too explosive offensively to contain: look for them to pick up the victory here.
Prediction: Houston Rockets -13
Full-Game Total Pick
Houston has been rolling along before getting upended by Golden State but the fact remains that the Rockets have solid offensive weapons. The Rockets are holding the third seed in the Western Conference as it stands and still is within striking distance of the Nuggets for the #2 spot. Phoenix is going nowhere as they try to give their young guys on the job training to see who is going to be worth building around for next season and beyond. Will Houston continue its recent mastery of the Suns by picking up the win here?
The under is 5-0 in the Suns’ last 5 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game, 6-1 in their last 7 games playing on 1 day of rest, 5-1 in their last 6 overall and 4-1 in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Houston has seen the under go 4-0 in their last four against the Western Conference, 4-0 in their last four against Pacific Division teams, 5-0 in their last 5 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game and 5-1 in their last 6 games playing on 1 day of rest. This one falls under the total as the Suns’ offense struggles to put points on the board.
Prediction: Under 225