The Houston Rockets will look to get No. 2 post James Harden era, as they go up against the San Antonio Spurs for the second time in three days. Will the Rockets score another win at the expense of San Antonio? Or, will the Spurs rebound?
Catch this game live on Sunday, January 17, at 6 am, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: San Antonio Spurs (6-6, 1-4at home)
The Spurs returned home on Friday after a five-game road trip and lost to Houston, 109-105. Despite the loss, San Antonio must definitely like what they saw from Keldon Johnson, who continues his rise to the top of the team’s pecking order on offense as he put up a career-high 29 points to go with six rebounds and two assists against the Rockets.
Johnson is now third on the team, behind DeMar DeRozan and Dejounte Murray, in scoring, as he’s manufacturing 14.8 points on 48.2 percent shooting from the field.
He should continue getting ample chance on offense for the Spurs, who are scoring 110.7 points per game. After a full day of rest, San Antonio will look forward to the pair of DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge putting up a better performance this Sunday.
The two combined for just 24 points on 9-of-24 shooting. The Spurs are 4-3 against the spread in their last seven games after a one day break. The under, meanwhile, is 3-1 in the Spurs’ last four games as the home team.
ROAD TEAM: Houston Rockets (4-6, 1-3on the road)
No James Harden, no John Wall, no problem for the Rockets in their first game after the conclusion of their saga with the former league MVP, as they defeated the Spurs on Friday.
That will continue to be the case for Houston this Sunday, as John Wall will miss another game due to left knee soreness. Eric Gordon (leg) is also questionable to play after missing the first leg of this back-to-back series as well.
Without Wall, and likely Gordon, the Rockets are hoping that Sterling Brown will deliver the goods for them again. Brown started against the Spurs on Friday and scored 23 points to go with seven rebounds and three assists in 37 minutes of action.
There’s also a chance that Victor Oladipo will finally play his first game with the Rockets, but he reportedly doesn’t want to stay in Houston, so another trade could be imminent. But the biggest key for banged-up Rockets this weekend will be the play of emerging tar Christian Wood.
The former Runnin’ Rebel had 27 points and 15 rebounds in the win over the Spurs, who couldn’t deal with his mix of energy, mobility, and athleticism.
The Rockets are playing with chips on their shoulder, as they feel like they have something to prove after James Harden’s comments about the team before this departure from H-Town. As for the tangibles, Christian Wood should be able to have his way against the Spurs’ slow frontline. Houston wins this game, 110-108.