All Good Things Must End: Rockets to Stop Blazers’ Win Streak at 13

blazers rockest

Matthew Jordan

Monday, March 19, 2018 5:31 PM GMT

Monday, Mar. 19, 2018 5:31 PM GMT

Spectacular late-night matchup from Portland on TNT Tuesday (10:30 p.m. ET) as the NBA-best Rockets look to end the Trail Blazers’ 13-game winning streak.

Houston (56-14, 37-32-1 ATS) at Portland (44-26, 39-26-5 ATS)Free NBA Pick: Rockets & OverBest Line Offered: SportsBetting

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Seven games on the NBA schedule Tuesday night and the marquee matchup has to be Houston at Portland, with the Blazers looking for their 14th straight victory. It’s a 10:30 p.m. ET tip on TNT. This writer previewed the Blazers’ matchup Saturday vs. Detroit and recommended Portland at -9. It won 100-87, after which embattled Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy absolutely shredded the officiating. That has cost him a cool $15K.

Blazers-Rockets could be a conference semifinals playoff preview, and Portland is 0-2 vs. Houston this season – they will play once more April 5 in Texas. On Dec. 9 in the Pacific Northwest, the Rockets won 124-117, rallying from down 14 in the fourth. James Harden dropped 48 points with eight rebounds. Chris Paul had 24 points. Damian Lillard tied a franchise record with nine 3-pointers and scored 35 points, while C.J. McCollum had 28.

On Jan. 10 in Houston, the Rockets were 121-112 winners. Harden was out injured and Paul stepped up by taking a career-high 29 shots and had a season-high 37 points to go with 11 assists. Eric Gordon chipped in 30. Lillard had 29 points and McCollum 24. Things got a little heated at times in that one.

Expect big games from both All-Stars in Harden and Lillard. The former is averaging 37.3 points in his past 12 against the Blazers. Lillard has averaged 30.5 points in his past four vs. Houston. Both teams have scored at least 100 points in seven straight meetings.

The favorite is 4-1 ATS in the past five in the series.

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Northwest Teams Are Killing It

How much fun is the NBA’s Northwest Division right now? Not too long ago, the Minnesota Timberwolves led it, but they have struggled since losing All-Star guard Jimmy Butler and now aren’t even assured of making the playoffs. Portland is on a 13-game winning streak, tied for second-longest in team history, and leads by two games. Oklahoma City has won six straight and is in second. Utah has won nine in a row and is third, four back. Shoot, even last-place Denver is pretty good. The Northwest is the only division with all winning teams, and all have positive point differentials as well.

It sure seems that Houston, on a five-game winning streak, is going to finish with the NBA’s best record because of all the injuries the Warriors are dealing with. The Rockets are still +250 5Dimes second-favorites to win it all behind Golden State (-118). You can bet the field at -225 vs. Houston (+185) to win the West.

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🎥 Highlights from the 13th victory of our second-longest winning streak in franchise history 🎥 pic.twitter.com/YCKxxYKDKe

— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) March 19, 2018
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Both these teams are on equal rest. Houston is 2-0 on a three-game trip after a 129-120 win at Minnesota on Sunday, leading by as many as 25. Portland took a one-game trip to L.A. on Sunday and won 122-109 over the Clippers. Lillard had his 15th straight game of 20+ points, matching the longest such streak of his career. You almost could have understood the Blazers losing there in the second of a back-to-back and perhaps peeking ahead to this game. The 13-game run is the longest since the team won 13 straight in December 2007. Eight of those 13 wins have come against above .500 teams.

The franchise record of 16 in a row started on March 20, 1991 and lasted until April 19. Those Blazers lost to the Suns on the final day of the season. If Portland wins here, up next is Friday vs. Boston, Sunday at Oklahoma City (could tie team record) and next Tuesday in New Orleans (break it).

Portland also has won nine in a row at home, but Houston has answered the bell every time this season and is 16-3 over its past 19 road games (9-2 ATS in previous 11). The Rockets are a stupid 38-2 when Harden, Paul and Clint Capela all start. You won’t get Houston giving so few points very often so take advantage for a Tuesday NBA pick. Like the 'over' as well for a parlay play.

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