The Rockets and the Warriors meet for the second time in a five-day stretch. Can Houston turn the tide relative to the first meeting in this stretch to pull out a big win…?
The Houston Rockets Can Win Because…
There is little doubt that James Harden is going to play a lot better against Golden State than he did on Saturday night in Houston. Harden was 4 of 15 from the field and scored only 12 points against the Warriors. Harden is such an elite scorer that he’s not going to stay down for very long. He won’t go through long periods without big games. He might have the occasional bad game as a scorer, but he’s just not going to stay mired in a long slump. Harden finds so many different ways to score. He averages just over 27 points per game, and he tossed in 45 points in Houston’s most recent game against the Indiana Pacers. Harden obviously bounced back from that game against Golden State. He should be physically and mentally ready to go in this game, and that alone will enable the Rockets’ offense to perform at a very high level.
Houston is also 14-6 on the road, so the Rockets are hardly going to be intimidated by going on the road. They do well away from home. This is still a team with a positive point differential of over four points per game. That’s very strong, especially in a loaded Western Conference. At 29-13, the Rockets have done very well this season despite losing Chandler Parsons. This is a team that has done well relative to expectations, and it is 7-3 in its last 10 as well, which is strong.
The Golden State Warriors Can Win Because…
NBA odds has Golden State as an 8-point home favorite and they Warriors are simply the better team than Houston, and they’re the best team in the whole NBA, with the possible lone exception of the Atlanta Hawks. The Warriors seemed to be in trouble late last week. They got whipped by Oklahoma City and then had to play Houston the very next night as part of a back-to-back set, but Golden State used a perfect third quarter to pull away from the Rockets. Golden State outscored Houston in the third quarter, 38-21, playing one of the best quarters of its entire season… on the road, as part of a back-to-back. That’s just phenomenal. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson both scored 27 points. The Warriors had four scorers with at least 15 points and six in double figures. They shot 55 percent from the floor and did just about everything they wanted. It was a near-perfect game from a tired team. Now, the Warriors play this game at home, where they’ve lost only once all season. Golden State is 9-1 in its last 10 games. The Warriors just don’t seem likely to drop this one.
The Warriors are the best team in the NBA right now until proven otherwise. Since they beat Houston by 25 on the road this past Saturday, it would be foolish to think the Warriors will win by a similar margin. They’ve actually won all three meetings between the teams this season but at least double figures each time, so it indicates they have a matchup advantage. Take the Warriors here with your NBA picks as they should cover again.
Free NBA Pick: Warriors -7.5 at 5Dimes