The Rockets go for 10 in a row against the Pelicans
The NBA’s best road team will look to extend their winning streak at home against the New Orleans Pelicans Monday night at the Toyota Center.
The Houston Rockets won their ninth consecutive game after James Harden scored 48 points and the team rallied from a 14-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 124-117 on Saturday night.
This was the Rockets eighth consecutive road win, extending their road record to 12-1 on the season–best in the NBA.
“We’re riding high right now. That’s great. We know we’ll have some bumps. We have a lot of things to figure out, but we just keep getting better and grinding it out,” Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said.
Tonight’s game will be the Rockets first of a seven-game homestand and with the best winning percentage in the league (.833), it’s possible it will only continue to increase.
The Pelicans played last night, a 131-124 home victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. The 131 points are a season-high for the team that has continued its six-game run of alternating wins and losses.
New Orleans has regressed defensively from where it ranked last season, but its offensive options are daunting. The two big men, DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis bring the name power, but Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo have been the leaders of the offense. Holiday recorded a season-high 34 points, 19 in the fourth quarter last night and Rondo had a season-high with 18 assists and scored a solid 13 points.
“I guess it was just my turn at that time,” Holiday said. “Obviously, we were down and I was having a rough time passing the ball, so at that point, when the starters came back in, I just had the hot hand and they just kept on feeding me.”
After playing last night, the Pelicans come into Houston as big underdogs.
The point spread tonight is -12 Rockets, a spread that looks large, but one that I would bet heavily on the favorites in this one.
All of the Pelicans road losses this season have come by an average margin of defeat of 13.1 points. They haven’t played the Rockets this season, but looking at their history, my money would be on the Rockets.
ESPN’s Basketball Power Index has the Rockets as heavy favorites, giving them an 86.4% chance to win the game.
The Rockets are undefeated this season when Chris Paul is in the lineup, granted he’s only played in ten games, but this team fires on all cylinders when their point guard helps run the offense opposite James Harden.
The Pelicans come in playing a tough game against the 76ers last night, where the Rockets had time to rest, last playing on Saturday.
The Rockets will win and cover the points.
Houston 111 New Orleans 94
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