Houston Rockets at San Antonio Spurs Preview
It’ll be a Southwest Division matchup tonight as the Houston Rockets hit the road to renew their I-10 rivalry against the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs have the 108-89 all-time series lead on Houston, which also includes a 67-31 record against the Rockets in San Antonio. However, the Rockets got the better of the Spurs in last year’s regular-season series 3-1.
The Rockets are currently fifth in the Western Conference with a 13-6 record. They have won their last two games entering tonight’s game, are 7-3 in their last 10 games and they are 5-4 on the road. San Antonio has dropped to 12th in the West with a 7-14 record. They lost their last game and are just 2-8 in their last 10. Home court has not exactly been an advantage for the silver and black as they have a 5-6 record at the AT&T Center.
Time: 8:30 PM ET
Arena: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
Channel: ATTSN-SW, FSSW-SA
Rockets: Eric Gordon, Nene, Gerald Green (O)
Spurs: LaMarcus Aldridge, Chimezie Metu (O)
Houston Rockets Starting Lineup
Houston scored 81 points in the first half to the Hawks’ 52 points and the Rockets kept the pressure on, scoring 46 points in the third quarter to allow the Rockets’ starters to get some rest and coast the rest of the way.
James Harden was one point shy of his career-high, but he finished with 60 points and eight assists in just 31 minutes, which left room for other role players to step into bigger roles and more minutes.
“We played a really good game those first three quarters so the fourth was an opportunity for other guys to play minutes that they’ve earned,” Harden said.
Harden is now averaging 38.9 points per game. With him sitting, Ben McLemore finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds, and Chris Clemons scored 16 points in just 15 minutes. He was one of six Rockets players to finish in double digits.
Clint Capela was out for the game, but he is probable for tonight’s game.
San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup
The Spurs are going through likely their toughest season in decades with jut a 7-14 record one-quarter of the way through the season. They looked like they were starting to put the pieces together last week in a big win against Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and the Los Angeles Clippers. The Spurs played likely their most complete game all season and it was also the best defense they had played all season as they seemed to continuously block the shot attempt of Leonard at the rim.
But unfortunately, it all fell apart on Sunday in a blowout 132-98 loss at the hands of the 7-13 Detroit Pistons.
“Yes, I’m disappointed,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “We came out aggressively in our last game against the Clippers and we had energy and execution at both ends. This was another night where we gave up 3-pointers and didn’t make any. But I think Detroit did everything better than we did tonight.”
The Spurs allowed 15 made three-pointers against the Pistons and with LaMarcus Aldridge sitting out, Andre Drummond controlled the boards and Christian Wood came off the bench for 28 points and 10 rebounds. Seven Pistons players scored 10 or more points, whereas the Spurs had just three.
With Aldridge out tonight and Capela likely back, the Spurs will need to limit lobs to the big man to have a chance to win.
Key Player Matchups
James Harden vs. Bryn Forbes
Harden is on a hot streak after scoring 60 against Atlanta. The bad news for the Spurs is that Harden has consistently performed well against Forbes. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich may try to counter with Derrick White on Harden, but he may also want to keep him on Russell Westbrook. Harden has a huge advantage against just about every guard. White and Dejounte Murray are the Spurs’ best bets.
Clint Capela vs. Jakob Poeltl
Poeltl has played very well for the Spurs, adding some athleticism and a solid rim protector to the starting group, but Capela is still on a different level. Look for the Rockets to try to run a ton of pick-and-rolls between Westbrook/Harden and Capela to try to get Poeltl in a mismatch. If that happens, it’s going to be lobs all night for Capela, and with Aldridge out, even help defense may not be enough.
James Harden and DeMar DeRozan are the fantasy standouts for this matchup. Harden is available for $12.5k on FanDuel and he is projected for a 62.32 point fantasy performance. DeRozan has a slightly higher points per $1k ratio with a salary of $7.2k and a projection of 37.63 points.
Derrick White is a nice low-risk value addition to your lineup. He has a low salary of just $4.3k and he is projected to finish with 23.86 points.
Bet on Matchup
If you’re in Pennsylvania, you can bet on this matchup. Sports betting is legal in PA. Our top-rated online sportsbook bonus offers can be found in our articles: Fanduel Sportsbook promo code, DraftKings Sportsbook promo code & Pointsbet promo code.