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Houston Rockets vs. Phoenix Suns game preview

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NBA: Phoenix Suns at Sacramento Kings Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

I hate the term “trap game.” This is not a trap game.

The Phoenix Suns are playing the Chicago Bulls as I type this. They will then have to fly to Houston, losing two hours on the flight. That might be the reason behind the game being delayed by an hour past the normal start time at Toyota Center.

The Rockets have easily handled the Suns in both previous matchups, with an average margin of victory of 15 points. With tired and jetlagged legs, the Suns shouldn’t have the energy to go with Houston for 48 minutes. However, stranger things have happened. And Alex Len will be fresh since he’s suspended for the Bulls game.

I’ve mentioned before that the Suns seem to be a team of two minds: they have the youth of a rebuilding team while sporting a cadre of veterans that you would normally see on a team similar to the Rockets in terms of age.

Eric Bledsoe is a stud, but hasn’t shot well over his last few games after dropping 41 on the Clippers earlier in February. Devin Booker is one of the next stars in the NBA, and he’s not even 21 yet. He’s averaging 24 points per game over his last five contests.

With tonight being dedicated to Mario Elie, there’s really no other choice for video here. The “constant scoreboard” of today wasn’t around in 1995, so the video picks up with Houston in control with a minute left, down 109-108. The announcers are Greg Gumbel, Steve “Snapper” Jones, and Bill Walton.

By the way, could you imagine the Twitter vitriol if Harden took 22 free throws in a Game 7 like Kevin Johnson did in this one? The place would shut down.

Tip-off is at 8pm CT.

Update (1:15pm CT):