NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, January 18th (All times Eastern)
Houston Rockets (21-19) at Indiana Pacers (24-16), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Houston Rockets will try to halt a season-worst five- game losing streak Friday night when they visit the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
This five-game slide came after a five-game winning streak, but the Rockets have dropped four in a row on the road. Their most recent setback came Wednesday in Dallas, a 105-100 loss to the Mavericks.
Houston allowed a 19-0 Mavericks run in the first quarter, then spent the rest of the night trying to come back. They almost did, winning the final three quarters, but it wasn't enough.
The Rockets, led by 20 points from James Harden on 5-for-23 shooting, committed nine turnovers in the first quarter and shot 6-for-19 from the field.
"Turnovers. Turnovers, missed layups, missed good shots," said Rockets head coach Kevin McHale. "We just go through some stretches where we have to fight back after that."
Jeremy Lin netted 19 points and Chandler Parsons chipped in 18. Omer Asik registered a double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds, while Greg Smith grabbed 10 boards off the bench.
The Pacers lost two out of three on a recent road trip and Friday's stop at home will be brief. They leave for a four-game trek out west, starting on Monday.
Indiana has been dynamite at home, going 15-3, compared to a 9-13 mark away from Indianapolis.
On Wednesday night, the Pacers fell to the Orlando Magic, in Orlando, 97-86. Paul George paced the Pacers with 20 points and 10 rebounds and five other Pacers scored in double figures.
The Pacers shot a dismal 11 percent from beyond the arc against Orlando, while the Magic lit it up from long range, shooting 57 percent. Couple that with 23 Magic points off 15 Pacers turnovers, and that adds up to a loss.
"They got just completely red hot from the perimeter," said Pacers coach Frank Vogel. "We kept them out of the paint, kept them off of the free throw lines, but obviously they drilled us from the perimeter with their shooting."
The Pacers are still the NBA's top defensive team, both in opponents' scoring and opponents' field-goal percentage.
Indiana's lead in the Central is down to a half game over the Chicago Bulls.
The Pacers won last season's only matchup with the Rockets, who have lost four of the last six in Indiana.
01/18 10:27:44 ET