The Houston Rockets had their nine-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday night, but they will look to start a new streak on Friday night. Houston will host the Phoenix Suns, who are actually playing much better basketball in the second half of the season. The Rockets have won nine straight games against the Suns, including a 118-110 victory this season.
Houston is in a tight race with the Oklahoma City Thunder for the third seed in the Western Conference. The Rockets come into this game with a record of 42-26 and lead the Southwest Division. Phoenix comes into this game with the second-worst record in the league at 16-53. The Suns have won four of their last six games, and are a much-improved club. Houston is a whopping 13.5 point favorite over the Suns on Friday night.
Ayton, Booker Building Blocks For Suns
The Phoenix Suns might have a bad record this season, but things are looking bright for them in the future. Phoenix has benefitted from high draft picks in recent seasons, and they have some future stars. Shooting guard Devin Booker leads the team with 25.1 points and 6.7 assists per game and is capable of having a big night. Rookie center Deandre Ayton has chipped in with 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.
Finding other production from the rest of the roster has been a problem for much of this season. The Suns are averaging just 106.8 points per game this season, which is one of the worst averages in the league. Phoenix is also one of the worst defensive and rebounding teams in the NBA, and that will likely hurt them in this game. The Suns have some talent on their roster, but they have a long way to go.
Rockets Look Playoff Ready
The Rockets had an interesting first few months of the season, but they have been on a roll of late. Houston rattled off nine straight wins recently, and they look ready to challenge the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs. The Rockets are averaging just under 113 points per game this season while giving up just over 110. If Houston can stay healthy, which is a big question, they will likely pose the greatest threat to Golden State.
James Harden struggled shooting the ball in the Warriors loss to Golden State on Wednesday night but has been putting up huge numbers this season. The reigning Most Valuable Player is leading the NBA with 36.0 points per game and takes about 25 shots per night. Houston has also gotten great production from Clint Capela (16.7 points, 12.5 rebounds) since his return from injury. The Rockets are just trying to keep their rhythm until the real fun begins in the playoffs.
Houston Bounces Back with Blowout
Even though the Phoenix Suns have been playing better of late, they are still no match for the Houston Rockets. James Harden leads a terrific Rockets offensive team that should put up a huge number against a bad defensive team. Look for the Rockets to blow out the Suns on Friday night in getting back to their winning ways. Bet the Houston Rockets -13.5 over the Phoenix Suns.