NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, December 22nd (All times Eastern)
Memphis Grizzlies (18-6) at Houston Rockets (13-12), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Houston Rockets have been a solid team at home this season.
That doesn't bode well for the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Rockets aim to extend their home winning streak over the Grizzlies to 13 straight games when the two clubs clash on Saturday night.
Houston brings a 10-5 home record into this meeting, but has won three straight and seven of its last nine at the Toyota Center. That latest victory came on Wednesday, a 125-103 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Rockets never trailed in the victory and netted 33 first-quarter points. They finished just as strong, setting a season high with 69 second-half points, including 36 in the fourth.
"I'm starting to see us react a little better to certain situations," said Houston head coach Kevin McHale. "We've got to go out and get stops. If we get stops we can get out and get some pace in game."
James Harden has dominated most situations for Houston, netting a game-high 33 points in the win over the 76ers to go with seven assists. He has posted 20-plus points in seven straight games, averaging 29.9 points per contest over that span.
Harden hit a career-high 17 free throws on 18 attempts versus the Sixers.
"I used to guard him. He's strong and he uses his body very well," said current teammate Chandler Parsons. "He holds the ball low with his strong hands and gets a lot of foul calls. He's quick and he can really dribble; pick-and-roll, he can split it, so I really think it's just his strength and his ball-handling -- it's tough to guard. Once he gets into the lane, he's getting to the hoop or he's getting a foul call."
Jeremy Lin notched 18 points and six assists while Omer Asik added 17 points and 15 rebounds for the Rockets, who have been the victor in four of their past five.
The Rockets were defeated by the Grizzlies 93-85 in Memphis on Nov. 9, but now the season series shifts to Houston, where the Grizzlies haven't won since April 15, 2006.
The 12-game slide in Houston is Memphis' longest active streak, either home or away.
Still, Memphis has won its last four games and enters Saturday with a strong 18-6 record this season. However, the Grizzlies have built that mark thanks to a 12-2 home mark and are only 6-4 on the road this season.
The Grizzlies posted a home victory on Friday night as Rudy Gay had 26 points, five rebounds and four steals to help them defeat the Dallas Mavericks, 92-82.
Zach Randolph recorded his 20th double-double of the season with 17 points and 13 boards for the Grizzlies. Marc Gasol added 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Although Memphis has lost its last dozen games in Houston, the Grizzlies have won three of the last five encounters overall, including a 93-85 home win on Nov. 9.
12/22 10:43:47 ET