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Cleveland Cavaliers at Houston Rockets
NBA: Friday, January 11, 2019, Toyota Center, Houston, Texas, 8:00 PM ET
The inter-conference foes will meet at the Toyota Center on Friday when the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Houston Rockets as they are desperate to avoid the 12th consecutive defeat and snap the coldest streak in the NBA, while the hosts are eager to bounce back after the Milwaukee Bucks ended their ten-game winning run at home. The rivals have met once this season and surprisingly, Cleveland beat Houston at home, 117-108, which was one of only eight Cavs’ victories in the 2018-19.
Cleveland Cavaliers allowed season-high 140 points in a loss to New Orleans
Cleveland is in a disastrous run of 11 consecutive defeats as they cannot find the rhythm following LeBron James’ departure and considering that they are on a six-game Western Conference road trip, this poor form might continue when they face the Rockets on Friday. The Cavaliers remained at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with the 8-34 record, the worst record in the entire NBA, 11 wins behind the playoff spot and two behind the fellow strugglers New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls.
Jordan Clarkson led the Cavs in a 140-124 loss to the Pelicans with 21 points, four rebounds, game-high three steals, and team-high three blocks off the bench; Matthew Dellavedova also provided a spark off the bench with 17 points, team-high seven assists, and four boards, Alec Burks scored 17, Cameron Payne added 16, while Collin Sexton contributed with 13 points and four dimes. Cleveland actually opened the game on a high note and had a 13-point lead after the first quarter but it all went downhill since, especially in the second half as they allowed even 81 points, scoring 61 in return. The Cavs lost the rebounding battle as New Orleans recorded 44 boards in opposite to the Cavs’ 31, while the hosts had six more assists than the visitors (33-27).
The Wine & Gold bench netted 75 points in #CavsPelicans – topping the 70-point plateau for the first time this season.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) January 10, 2019
Kevin Love indicated during a recent interview that he may not make it back to the court until after the All-Star break; Rodney Hood (Achilles) is out for the clash with Houston, Larry Nance (knee) is also sidelined, while David Nwaba (ankle) is still about a week away from returning.
The Cavaliers have the 28th offense in the NBA that averages 102.5 points per contest, while their defense is 23rd as it allows 113.0 points per game (23rd). Cleveland’s rebounding is below average as they are recording 42.2 boards per game (25th), while they are even worse when it comes to assists per contest with 20.2 dishes a night (29th). Cleveland is 26th in field goal percentage as they have 44.4 percent from the floor and 8th from downtown with 36.0 percentage, while they are 27th in the NBA with 9.3 three-pointers made per game.
Houston Rockets’ ten-game winning run at home ended with a loss to Milwaukee
Houston was in a fine form of six consecutive victories but they lost two out of the previous three games, including the latest one at home to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Rockets dropped to the 23-17 record and are in the 6th position in the Western Conference with four wins behind the conference leaders Denver Nuggets, but are still at the top of the Southwest Division with a slightly better record (.575) than the San Antonio Spurs (.571).
James Harden led the Rockets in a 116-109 loss to the Bucks with a double-double of 41 points (13-30 FG, 6-16 3PT, 10-11 FT) and 11 rebounds, along with six assists and a couple of steals; Clint Capela posted a double-double of 18 points and team-high 13 boards with two blocks, Gerald Green scored 16 off the bench, while Austin Rivers ended the tilt with 13 points and four rebounds. Houston was solid in the first half and had a 6-point lead at halftime but Milwaukee exploded in the third quarter and scored 38 points, allowing just 23 in return, and the hosts couldn’t recover from that deficit and fell short for the first home defeat in 11 games. Despite hitting 18 triples in opposite to the Bucks’ eight, the Rockets were poor from the floor as they made only 37.6 percent of their shots and recorded just four steals, while Milwaukee had 11.
.@JHarden13 has hit 5+ 3-Pointers in ELEVEN straight games; no other player has a streak longer than SEVEN games in NBA history.
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) January 10, 2019
Eric Gordon (right knee soreness) won’t be re-evaluated until the end of the week and will definitely not play against Cleveland. Mike D’Antoni said it will be around 2-3 weeks before Chris Paul (hamstring) will be cleared to return, so Austin Rivers, Gerald Green, and Danuel House will continue to benefit in his absence.
The Rockets have the 17th offense in the NBA that averages 110.6 points per contest, while their defense allows 109.3 points per game (13th). Houston’s rebounding is among the worst in the league as they are recording 42.1 boards per game (26th), while they are also not good when it comes to assists per contest with 21.2 dishes a night (28th). Houston is 23rd in field goal percentage as they have 44.7 percent from the floor and 13th from downtown with 35.4 percentage, while they are 1st in the NBA with 15.2 three-pointers made per game.
- 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 games played at home
- 10-2 ATS in their last 12 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game
- 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games playing on one day rest
- 1-4 ATS in their last five after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game
- 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall
- 1-6 ATS in their last seven after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game
- 0-6 ATS in their last six games played on Friday
- 0-4 ATS in their last four games playing on one day rest
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Houston won seven out of the previous ten H2H encounters including three out of the last four, while the Rockets were victorious in six out of the past seven meetings at the Toyota Center. Even though the road team is 6-1 ATS in the last seven duels, the Cavaliers are 3-10 ATS in the previous 13 meetings in Houston, and considering Cleveland’s injury crisis and lack of quality players available, I am backing Houston to destroy them and hand the Cavs the 12th consecutive defeat. I expect Harden to continue with his red-hot streak and he has more than favorable matchup, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the victors suffer a catastrophe on Friday.
Prediction: Houston Rockets
Full-Game Total Pick
Houston scored 100+ points in each of their previous nine games and considering that Cleveland conceded 115+ points in their previous five games, I am afraid that the visitors could allow 130+ points in this one. The Cavs will likely score 100+ as Houston’s defense is far from being good and I am going with over because over is 8-2 in Rockets last ten vs. Eastern Conference opponents, over is 4-1 in Rockets previous five home games, while over is 6-1-1 in Cavaliers last eight Friday games.