Rockets aiming to get well against Spurs

Rockets aiming to get well against Spurs
January 28, 2014, 11:15 am
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When the Rockets host the Spurs at Toyota Center on Tuesday night, Houston will be aiming for their 30th win of the season. It's not that 30 win is a landmark figure, but more so that the Rockets will be aiming for that for third consecutive game. They have yet to lose three consecutive games the entire season. Maybe harder to believe, is that the Rockets might just be getting some elixir for their struggling offense with the Spurs as their opposition.

"We just need a good win," Dwight Howard said. "We had two terrible losses, we have to come tonight and get a good win, we need it."

While San Antonio is the only team in the NBA ranked in the top five in both offensive (3rd) and defensive efficiency (4th), Houston has averaged 111.5 points against San Antonio while shooting just above 48 percent from the floor. The Spurs have scored just 102 points per game in the two losses, nearly three points below their season average.

On top of that Houston is dead last in the western conference in 3-point shooting percentage at 34.4 percent, but have made 46.3 percent (25-of-54) of their 3-pointers in the two wins against San Antonio.

Both of Houston's wins came in San Antonio, but the Spurs come into Tuesday night's game with the league's best road record at 16-4.  They are also coming off of a loss and have not lost two consecutive games this season and are currently hold their league's third-best overall record.

"They are a very good team, historically for years, they're always in the top of the west," Harden said. "Since I've been here, this has been a challenge, to always want to compete for that spot, especially in our division."

Houston is playing their third consecutive game within the Southwest division, having dropped the last two against Memphis, but having won both of the games this year against the Spurs. "They're a very good defensive team, especially when you hold the ball. When we move the ball, it's difficult for anyone to guard us, because we have so many shooters, so many guys that get in the paint and obviously Dwight in the paint. We've lost two (in a row), so we have to come in here ready to go."

Clearly the Rockets have moved the ball well against the Spurs, averaging 26 assists per game against the Spurs. Houston ranks just 25th in the league in assists per game at 20.2 per game. Harden and Chandler Parsons have been especially effective against San Antonio. Harden is averaging 29.5 points per game while making 60 percent of his shots. Parsons has scored 21 and 25 points in the two games and has made 9-of-17 3-pointers in the Rockets two wins against the Spurs.

"We've been so up and down with our offense," Parsons said. "We can play well against anybody, then play bad against anybody. They're a great team and it's a big rival and a big game, so we get up for that, but we just have to continue to run our stuff, no matter who we play."

Regarding the Rockets and Spurs both attempting to break modest, yet season-worst losing streaks, Harden noted the Spurs streak and said, "And we haven't lost three games in a row all season, so something's gotta give tonight and hopefully it's them."