Rockets, Suns to Light Up Phoenix in Friday's Late Game

Jay Pryce

Friday, January 12, 2018 1:57 PM UTC

Friday, Jan. 12, 2018 1:57 PM UTC

The Rockets and Suns are soaring, each coming off double-digit victories. Offense is clicking for both thanks to a healthy Chris Paul for Houston and Devin Booker for Phoenix. Expect plenty of points in this Friday (10:30 p.m. ET) matchup. 

Houston Rockets at Phoenix Suns (+7, 227)Free NBA Pick: Over 226Best Line Offered: BetCRIS

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Rockets (29-11 SU, 19-21 ATS)

Rockets Soar with Paul Healthy, Signs Point to Plenty of Points

The Rockets appear to be back on track after hitting a rough patch in late December with point guard Chris Paul in and out of the lineup nursing a leg injury. From Dec. 20-Jan. 6, the team went 2-7 SU and 1-8 ATS after winning 25 of its first 29 games. The nine-time All-Star missed three in this stretch and failed to log more than 25 minutes in two others.

When Paul plays more than 25 minutes a contest, Houston is 17-2 SU (10-9 ATS), the offense averaging 119.3 points per game. Sitting out or logging less, it is 12-9 SU (9-12 ATS), points dipping to 111.2 per contest. Paul recorded a season-high 37 points and 11 assists in the team’s 121-112 victory over the Trail Blazers last time out.

For those worried Houston’s offense will falter with leading scorer James Harden (32.3 ppg) out, don’t. Since 2014, the Rockets have scored more than the market projected in seven of eight with the MVP candidate out. The team averages 112.4 points per game. Harden strained his hamstring on Dec. 31. The injury has already kept the superstar out for longer than any in his career. A return is not considered imminent.

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RT #NBAVOTE @JHarden13 or be banished to the pit of misery! pic.twitter.com/sT4w0Xlkpi

— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) January 11, 2018
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Suns (16-26 SU, 21-21 ATS)

Booker Invigorating Suns Offense

Like the Rockets with Paul, the Suns played a large chunk of games in the last calendar month without leading scorer Devin Booker (24.9 ppg). The second-year shooting guard missed 10 games with a strained left adductor muscle. The offense averages 101.2 points per game on 43.8 percent shooting with Booker out. The numbers jump to 107.1 on 44.5 percent from the floor in the lineup.

Booker scored a team-high 26 points, including 5 of 10 from behind the arc, in a 114-100 win over the Thunder on Sunday. The 14-point victory is the largest of the season for Phoenix. It tipped off 8.5-point underdogs for the contest.

Look for the Suns’ offense to carry over confidence from Booker’s hot long-range shooting. In the last calendar year, the team posts 109.9 points per game when Booker hits better than 50 percent from behind the arc in his prior game. Phoenix has surpassed its team total in 18 of 25 under these conditions. The ‘over’ is 17-7-1 in this span.

The Verdict

Points will flood Talking Stick Resort Arena tonight. Both offenses are hot and each team ranks in the top 8 in pace in the NBA: Phoenix averages 100.3 and Houston 99.3 possessions per 48 minutes. The numbers grow even higher when the Suns play at home and the Rockets on the road. The combined score reaches 230. Houston wins 120-110. Pick ‘over’ 226 points.

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