NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, December 26th
(All times Eastern)
Memphis Grizzlies (12-15) at Houston Rockets (19-11), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Rockets will try to keep the momentum going
from a huge Christmas night victory Thursday when they welcome the Memphis
Grizzlies to the Toyota Center.
The Rockets trounced the San Antonio Spurs, 111-98 in San Antonio Wednesday
night. Houston shot 52.3 percent from the field and 50 percent from long
The Rockets have now alternated wins and losses over the last nine games, but
play five of the next six at home.
James Harden led the way for Houston against the Spurs with 28 points, but he
was gigantic in the fourth quarter. The All-Star guard had 16 in the final
frame, but he also finished with six assists and six rebounds.
"My teammates needed me," Harden said. "The first three quarters, I was just
trying to be a facilitator, making sure the ball moved well. In the fourth
quarter I just tried to be creative and make some shots."
Houston's starting forwards, Chandler Parsons and Terrence Jones, each had 21
points. Parsons went 5-for-9 from beyond the arc and Jones pulled down 14
Dwight Howard posted his 20th double-double this season with 15 points and 20
rebounds. Jeremy Lin chipped in 13, but the Rockets' bench only combined for
The Grizzlies will try to get out of the Southwest Division cellar with a
victory over one of the top teams in the division.
Memphis has won two in a row after a five-game losing streak. The Grizz were
one of the NBA's best home teams last season, but the story has changed in the
The Grizzlies are 6-5 outside of FedExForum.
On Monday, the Grizz picked up a home victory over the Utah Jazz, 104-94.
"It feels good," Zach Randolph said of the team notching consecutive wins.
"We're getting better. We've been struggling, but I think we should just come
out and play hard, and let everything else take care of itself."
Randolph registered his 16th double- double of the season with 22 points and
10 rebounds, but it was the Memphis bench which really keyed the victory.
The Grizzlies' second unit outscored Utah's reserves 51-18. Jerryd Bayless
tallied 17 points, while Mike Miller scored 15 and Jon Leuer added 11 for
Memphis, which won back-to-back games for the first time since mid-November.
Kosta Koufos was the only starter besides Randolph to score in double figures.
The Rockets knocked off the Grizzlies, 93-86 on Nov. 25 in Memphis. The
Grizzlies have taken three of the last five meetings, but they are 3-16 in
their last 19 in Houston.
12/26 10:27:42 ET