"We've got a handful of games left, and every one counts. Good win off a 3-game losing streak and now we go on the road for two."
That was James Harden's sentiment after the Toronto game. Yes, Houston bounced back from three straight losses where they wilted late. Once again, the Rockets tried to hand the game to their opponents but Toronto kindly refused to take the win.
Tonight's opponents almost certainly won't let the Rockets leave their building without a fight. The Indiana Pacers sit in the seventh spot in the East and are just two games ahead of the ninth place Chicago Bulls. Meanwhile, Houston sits in seventh in the West and are only a half-game ahead of the Dallas Mavericks in ninth place. Point being, we're going to see two teams desperate for wins to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Pacers are a solid 22-13 at home this season but are flying in from Brooklyn, where they were outscored 35-17 in the fourth quarter. So look for them to come out swinging to get those demons gone.
Indiana has accumulated all 3 of the players with "Hill" as their last name: George, Jordan, and Solomon. More importantly, Paul George has returned to stardom and is still a 2-way threat. Myles Turner has emerged as a force in the frontcourt. You know C.J. Miles can shoot. And Monta Ellis has always had a hard spot for the Rockets. I'm assuming hard spot is the opposite of a soft spot.
Oh, and Ty Lawson plays for the Pacers now. He has played in four games now with the Pacers, but was injured after only five minutes in his first game. In his last 3 games with the team, he's averaging 5 points and 2 assists in 15 minutes off the bench. The entire Ty Lawson situation will remain an enigma for me and Morey's third huge gaffe (Terrence Williams, Royce White, and now Lawson). Houston's GM is still the best in the business in my opinion, but when he fails he sure does fail spectacularly.
Tip-off is at 5pm Central Time.
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