Harden’s Rockets To Get Sweep Of LeBron’s Lakers Thursday

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 3:56 PM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019 3:56 PM UTC

Terrific TNT nightcap on Thursday as the NBA returns from its All-Star Break: James Harden and the Rockets visiting LeBron James and the Lakers as Houston looks for a rarity with a victory.

Houston (33-24, 26-30-1 ATS) at LA Lakers (28-29, 24-31-2 ATS)
Thursday, 10:30 p.m. ET (TNT)
Free NBA Pick: Rockets ATS
Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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Was that a long week without NBA action or what? The league tips off its second half of the season – although it’s not really the second half as all clubs have played nearly 60 of their 82 regular-season games – on Thursday night. The TNT nightcap is Rockets at Lakers in their final meeting of the year.

Believe it or not, the Rockets have swept a season series from the Lakers just once in franchise history. The other was in 2015-16. A victory Thursday would be the second time as the Rockets lead 3-0 and have also won their past three in L.A. Houston is trying to win four straight at the Lakers for just the third time ever.

MVP favorite James Harden is averaging a cool 44.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists against the Lakers this season. Chris Paul 21 points and nine rebounds. LeBron James, who missed one of the three games, is putting up 26.5 points vs. Houston and Kyle Kuzma 22.3.

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— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) February 18, 2019
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Bet Rockets Or Lakers ATS?

The top story line entering this one is whether Harden can continue his streak of 30-point games. He’s at 31, which ties Wilt Chamberlain for the second-most in NBA history. You really shouldn’t say anything is a “lock” in sports, but it’s a lock that Harden doesn’t break the mark of 65 straight – also by Wilt (1961-62).

It’s looking like the Rockets will get back starting center Clint Capela on Thursday. He has been out since injuring his thumb Jan. 13 vs. Orlando but has resumed practicing. Capela was averaging 17.6 points, 12.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks. Houston has been outrebounded in 13 of the 15 games without Capela. The Rockets are 19-3 when outrebounding their opponent this year and 15-8 when Capela, Harden and Paul play together this season compared to an insane 42-3 last season.

The break probably came at a good time for the Lakers as they are really struggling right now in the wake of those Anthony Davis trade rumors perhaps tearing apart the locker room. L.A. entered the break off an embarrassing 117-113 loss in Atlanta, the team’s eighth defeat in the past 11 games to fall back under .500 for the first time since early November.

The Lakers are three games out of the West’s final playoff spot. Rumors about Coach Luke Walton’s job security continue, although reports are he will be allowed to finish the season. The extra rest should only help LeBron off that groin injury. He’s averaging 23.2 points, 10.8 rebounds and 11.0 assists in the five games since returning. However, L.A.’s defense has been atrocious.

  • Rockets are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight up loss.
  • Lakers are 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.

The Lakers are just 10-16-2 ATS at home and don’t seem to want to play for their coach. Houston, meanwhile, is 8-2 ATS in its past 10 in L.A. Back the Rockets for a Thursday ATS pick.

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