Preview: Rockets at Spurs
The Houston Rockets are one of the league’s biggest disappointments and they will look to halt a four-game slide when they visit the San Antonio Spurs on Friday. Houston has allowed an average of 124 points during the skid and was lambasted 128-108 by the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.
Star guard James Harden isn’t overly concerned about the porous stretch as he pointed out the team endured a four-game losing streak earlier in the season before winning eight of its next 10. “We’ve done it already,” Harden told reporters after Wednesday’s loss. “We went through a tough stretch, and then we regrouped and won five in a row – and we looked really good. We’ve just got to figure it out. We’ve got a lot of new guys, and it’s only 20 games into the season. We’ve got 60 more to go.” San Antonio is also coming off a forgettable outing as it scored nine second-quarter points while being walloped 128-89 by the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday. “I thought we looked a bit lethargic in a lot of ways,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told reporters of Wednesday’s defeat in the finale of a four-game road excursion. “Maybe part of it was the trip, but everybody has these trips. It’s no excuse.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, AT&T SportsNet Southwest (Houston), KENS (San Antonio)
ABOUT THE ROCKETS (9-11): Harden recorded 25 points and season highs of 17 assists and 11 rebounds against the Mavericks for his first triple-double of the season and 36th in his career. But his productivity couldn’t keep Houston in a game in which point guard Chris Paul (hamstring) missed his third straight contest and the bench got outscored 61-25. “Obviously, it’s a problem,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni told reporters of the quality of the team’s reserves. “It’s something that I know that the front office tried to address. They’re going to do the best they can. No blame going around – it’s just the way it is.”
ABOUT THE SPURS (10-11): The San Antonio starters combined for only 35 points while being routed by the Timberwolves with power forward LaMarcus Aldridge and shooting guard DeMar DeRozan leading the way with 10 apiece. DeRozan’s output was a season low and he was greatly disturbed by the club’s poor showing. “It seemed like we let them do whatever they wanted,” DeRozan told reporters afterward. “We just weren’t good at all. … You don’t want to go out there and get embarrassed.”
1. Aldridge recorded 27 points and 10 rebounds as the Spurs posted a 96-89 home win over the Rockets on Nov. 10.
2. Houston swingman Gerald Green (ankle) could miss his third straight game.
3. Popovich revealed that C Pau Gasol (foot) – who will miss his 13th straight game – has a stress fracture and will be sidelined indefinitely.