The Houston Rockets are at home and coming off an emphatic victory, but over on the other side are the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers, who are yet to lose on the road this season.
Catch the game Monday January 11, at 8 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Houston Rockets (3-4, 3-1 at home)
After suffering consecutive losses, the Rockets went back to the win column on Saturday to a resounding tune. They steamrolled the Orlando Magic, 132-90, and tallied a season-high in points, threes made (22), rebounds (49), and assists (34).
The great effort featured a balanced attack as every active Rocket scored, six of which were in double-digits. Since it was a blowout, key starters James Harden, John Wall, and Christian Wood were also rested earlier than usual. It’s just in time as they’ll take all the extra rest they need prior to battling someone like the Lakers.
As evident in the numbers, Houston’s trio will be able to present a good challenge to the defending champs. Harden (27.0 PPG, 11.2 APG), Wall (21.2 PPG, 5.2 APG), and Wood (23.3 RPG, 10.8 RPG) are all averaging over 20 points per game, with two also posting a healthy double-double.
The Rockets are scoring 114.3 PPG on the season.
ROAD TEAM: Los Angeles Lakers (7-3, 4-0 on the road)
While the Lakers have gathered one or two upset losses early in the season, the encouraging factor for tomorrow is they are still perfect on the road. All four were also won during last week’s four-game road trip, where they each beat the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies twice.
All-Star big man Anthony Davis (22.4 PPG, 9.5 RPG) is expected to be back on the floor after resting in Saturday’s 117-115 win against the Chicago Bulls. He’ll be ready to provide damage again – and even if he played limitedly, the team has great depth. Montrezl Harrell filled in for AD’s absence yesterday and came up huge, tallying 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Countering the Rockets’ playmakers wouldn’t be a problem with LeBron James, Dennis Schroder, all-time passing big man Marc Gasol at the helm. James, in particular, has been riding a hot streak as he is putting up 25.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 8.5 assists on 54.2% shooting over his last four outings.
The Lakers are scoring 113.9 PPG on the season.
Great matchups are everywhere, but the most intriguing should be between the starting big men, mostly because Christian Wood plays like a young Anthony Davis. It should be pretty interesting to watch.
The Lakers tend to get rattled when they get dealt with consecutive shots, as seen during their losses to the Blazers in late December and the Spurs this past Friday. This may be a close game all the way, but I expect the Rockets to take home the W, 116-110.