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The Houston Rockets have won 9 of their last 10 and gradually keep moving their way up the standings in the Western Conference. They look to continue that forward progress when they travel to Memphis Wednesday to play the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies are out of playoff contention, but they are a tough team that’s rarely an easy out.
Rockets flying high
The Houston Rockets are in third place in the Western Conference with a record of 44-26, 3.5 games behind the first place Nuggets and Warriors. That doesn’t include the results of Tuesday night’s game at Atlanta. Not including the Atlanta game, the Rockets have won 9 of their last 10 games. The Memphis game Wednesday night is the second game of a road back-to-back for the Rockets. The Grizzlies are not a playoff team, but they are a physical team and a good defensive team, so this won’t be a layup for the Rockets. On Sunday, the Rockets beat the Timberwolves 117-102 on the strength of the three ball. They shot 45 percent from the floor and drained 21 three-pointers. Chris Paul had 25 points and 10 assists. He was 6 of 7 from three-point range. James Harden had 20 points and 10 assists, including 4 threes, while Clint Capela also had 20 points. Eric Gordon had 14 points and 4 three-pointers.
Remember when everyone said Chris Paul was washed pic.twitter.com/8XyEirRvUz
— Matthew Cardenas (@Matt__Cardenas) March 18, 2019
The Rockets are very healthy right now. Only bench players Terrence Jones and Isaiah Hartenstein are listed on the injury report as questionable..
The Rockets average 112.9 points per game on 44 percent shooting from the field and 35 percent shooting from three. They also shoot just 78.8 percent from the foul line. Defensively, they give up 110 points per game. Opponents shoot 47 percent from the field and 34 percent from three against them. Harden leads the Rockets with a league-leading 35.9 points per game. Capela averages 16.7 points and 12.5 rebounds per game, while Eric Gordon averages 16.6 points per game. Paul averages 15.7 points and 8 assists per game, while Kenneth Faried averages 14 points and 9 rebounds per game.
Grizzlies lose bite
The Memphis Grizzlies haven’t played since Saturday, so they’ve had a nice little break here in mid-March. They’ll need it against the red hot Houston Rockets. The Grizzlies are 28-42 and own the second-worst record — along with the Mavericks — in the Western Conference. They have lost two straight games, including a 135-128 loss at Washington on Saturday. The Grizzlies have always been known as a good defensive team, so this was an un-Grizzlies-like performance. “In years past when we scored 128, we thought it was an automatic win in our book,” the Grizzlies Mike Conley said. “At halftime, we felt that if we were going to get stops that we were going to win because we were scoring at such a high clip. It was just one of those nights that we just let it slip away.” Memphis shot 53 percent, had 35 assists, and only had 8 turnovers – that’s usually a recipe for victory. But the Wizards made 36 free throws to 20 for Memphis and that was the difference. Conley had 28 points and 12 assists, while Jonas Valanciunas had 22 points and Avery Bradley added 21.
The Grizzlies have been playing without starters Kyle Anderson, who is out until late March, and Jaren Jackson, who is out indefinitely. Also, CJ Miles is questionable for Wednesday.
The Grizzlies are the worst offensive team in the NBA, averaging just 102.1 points per game on 45 percent shooting from the field and 33 percent shooting from three. They also shoot just 77 percent from the foul line. Defensively, they give up 104 points per game, which is the second lowest in the NBA. Opponents shoot 44 percent from the field (4th in the league) and 35 percent from three against them. Conley leads the Grizzlies with 20.7 points and 6.4 assists per game. Valanciunas averages 17.9 points and 8 rebounds per game, while Bradley averages 16 points per game.
- Grizzlies are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 vs. Western Conference.
- Grizzlies are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 home games.
- Grizzlies are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Grizzlies are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Grizzlies are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
- Rockets are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 vs. Western Conference.
- Rockets are 3-11-1 ATS in their last 15 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
- Rockets are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 Wednesday games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Take the Grizzlies at home getting the points. Houston has won all 3 of the previous games between these two teams, but the Rockets will be coming off a game Tuesday night in Atlanta. It’s probably a safe bet that perhaps Harden or Paul might get a night off in this game. The Rockets will be running on fumes and may still win, b ut it will be a close game so take the Grizzlies.
Prediction: Memphis +4
Full-Game Total Pick
Take the under. All three previous meetings between these two were low-scoring. With Houston playing a back-to-back, expect another low scoring affair. The under is 6-0 in Rockets last 6 vs. Western Conference and 4-0 in their last 4 vs. a team with a losing straight up record. Further, the under is 5-2 in Grizzlies last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.