Rockets looking to beat Memphis for third time

Rockets looking to beat Memphis for third time
January 24, 2014, 3:30 pm
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Houston and Memphis meet for the third time this season, Friday night at Toyota Center. Houston has won each of the first two games, needed to erase at least a 12-point deficit in each game. Houston has won eight of their last ten games, while Memphis has won five of their last six games. The teams will meet again tomorrow night in Memphis, to close out their four-game season series.

- Houston is averaging 113 points per game over their last three games, while setting a new season–high for second chance points in each of the three games.

- Houston is tied for the best winning percentage in division games (7-2, .777) in the western conference. (San Antonio is also 7-2).

- Dwight Howard (76) and Memphis’ Zach Randolph (70) rank second and third, respectively, for most double-doubles since the start of the 2012-2013 season. (David Lee, Golden State, is first with 79 double-doubles)

- Houston has outscored Memphis 39-9 in fast break points in their two meetings.

- Howard and James Harden have combined to make just nine shots against the Grizzlies this season. Harden faced them just once, going 2-of-9 and Howard is just 7-of-15 from the floor. Howard has not played in the fourth quarter of either matchup, including their last game when he checked out with 7:52 remaining in the third quarter after picking up his fourth foul and did not return to the game.

- Harden tied a Rockets franchise record with 22 free throws made in a game when he went 22-of-25 from the free throw line against Memphis on Dec. 26. He scored 27 points in the game, the most in any game in NBA history by a player with two or fewer field goals.

- Two of the three biggest come-from-behind victories this season have come in their two wins over Memphis. They came back from a 14-point deficit on Nov. 25, to win, 93-86 and came back from a 12-point deficit on Dec. 26, to win, 100-92. Both of those largest deficits occurred in the third quarter.

MEMPHIS

- Is the only team that is winless in division games (0-10; 0-3 vs. SA, 0-2 vs. Hou, 0-2 vs. Dal, 0-3 vs. NO) and have been outscored by an average of nine points in those games (102.0-93.0).

- Is 10-7 when Marc Gasol plays and was 10-13 in the 23 games he missed with a left knee injury.

- Is just 6-31 all-time in Houston.

- Like Houston has already missed more man-game due to injury/illness this season, 69, than they did last season, 43.

- Zach Randolph is one of only four active NBA players to average a double-double in at least eight different seasons. Tim Duncan (13), Dwight Howard (10) and Kevin Garnett (9) are the others. Howard is the only one among them to accomplish that in every season of their career.

- Guard Courtney Lee is averaging 14.9 point per game on 54.2 percent shooting in his first seven games with Memphis, after being acquired via trade from Boston. He’s started the last five games, averaging 16.8 points on 57.1 percent shooting, including a season-high 24 points on Jan. 14 versus Oklahoma City. In his seven games with the Grizzlies, Lee has a .571 effective field goal percentage, which would rank 12th in the NBA, fifth among guards.

- Forward James Johnson, since being called up from the NBA developmental league on Dec. 16, is averaging 1.29 steals and 1.76 blocks, while playing just 22.6 minutes. No player in NBA history has had steal and block averages that high while playing fewer than 25 minutes per game.

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