Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors (-7.5, 217.5 o/u)
The perpetually streaking Golden State Warriors (33-6, 18-1 home) host the Houston Rockets (29-13, 14-6 away) tonight with eyes on a season sweep. Steph Curry and company have already downed the Rockets three times this year, including a 131-106 beat-down this past weekend in Houston.
The most recent game featured Curry and Klay Thompson scoring 27 points each and Golden State shooting 54.9% from the field.
“We just got to be a lot better,” said Rockets head coach Kevin McHale. “We did not put up any kind of fight, we had no effort versus that team last time.”
James Harden, who leads the NBA in scoring (27.1 PPG), was held to just 12 points against the Warriors. (And the former Sun Devil is shooting just 39% against Golden State on the season.) However, Harden did rebound nicely in Houston’s last game, putting up 45 in a 110-98 win over Indiana on Monday.
McHale added, “He’s playing at an elite level that few players get to. He’s really playing well and we’ve put a lot of responsibility on him.”
Harden is hoping that the fourth time is the charm for him and his teammates. “They beat us three times already so it’s a good opportunity on national TV to go out there and play against the No. 1, No. 2 team in the league right now,” Harden said.
As for the Warriors, they suffered a rare loss in Oklahoma City last Friday (127-115) despite being one-point faves. But the team got back on track in a big way thereafter with two massacres: first came the rout of Houston on the weekend, then the Warriors embarrassed Denver, 122-79, on Monday.
Curry led the way against the Nuggets with 20 points and eight assists, while his partner in crime, Thompson, put up 22 points. But it was truly a team effort that led to the convincing win, as three other players scored in double-figures and all 13 players who dressed for the game had at least three points.
“This is so unique to have a group pull for each other, that exhibits the selflessness where, from one night to the next, somebody isn’t going to get a lot of points or a lot of shots,” said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “And it doesn’t seem to bother them.”
Considering that, o/u-wise, the Rockets are 19-23-0 and the Warriors are 18-21-0 – plus the fact that Harden struggles to shoot against Golden State – the under (217.5) looks like the play.
(Photo credit: Noah Salzman (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)