National Basketball Association
Indiana at Houston
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, November 15, 2019
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
After beating up on many of the league's lesser teams, the Houston Rockets finally have a quality victory to their credit. They will try to make it two in a row against opponents with a winning record when they host the surging Indiana Pacers on Friday night.
Houston's first seven victories came against teams that entered Thursday's action with a combined 18-46 record, but it was able to stretch its winning streak to five in a row with a solid 102-93 triumph over the Los Angeles Clippers (7-4) on Wednesday, posting the team's best defensive effort of the young season. "These last five or six games we've been holding teams under 100 points or right at 100 points and that's going to get us where we need to go," star guard James Harden told reporters after a 47-point effort for the NBA's scoring leader. The Pacers have also picked on some sub-.500 squads to win four straight and seven of their last eight following an 0-3 start. They held Oklahoma City to 35.4 percent shooting in a 111-85 win over the Thunder on Tuesday, Indiana's most lopsided victory of the season.TV:
8 p.m. ET, FS Indiana, AT&T SportsNet Southwest (Houston)ABOUT THE PACERS (7-4):
Forward T.J. Warren scored 23 points in Tuesday's win while fellow newcomer Malcolm Brogdon added 20 as Indiana's fresh mix of talent continues to jell. "It's a new group," coach Nate McMillan told reporters. "Part of it is figuring these guys out, where they like the ball, what they can do with the basketball. We're starting to personalize some of the sets in the offense, spotting where guys can be effective and productive." Domantas Sabonis is one of the holdovers and he entered Thursday ranked third in the NBA in rebounding at 13.3 per contest.ABOUT THE ROCKETS (8-3):
Houston has some physical issues as it begins to surge up the Western Conference standings, as shooting guard Eric Gordon is out for up to six weeks following knee surgery and center Clint Capela is reportedly being examined for a concussion after leaving Wednesday's win. That could yield more playing time for veteran big man Tyson Chandler, who had season highs in rebounds (nine) and minutes (16) on Wednesday. Harden keeps chugging along and is averaging 41.6 points and 8.8 assists over his last five games.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Pacers C Myles Turner and G Jeremy Lamb have missed seven straight games and four straight games, respectively, with ankle injuries.
2. Rockets G Russell Westbrook is 7-for-39 from 3-point range over a span of eight games.
3. Houston swept the two-game series each of the past two seasons.PREDICTION:
Rockets 113, Pacers 105
Stats and Records