Los Angeles at Houston Rockets (+6, 212)
The Los Angeles Lakers have been losing games at a fast pace, and now they also are rapidly losing players. The Lakers will be without center Dwight Howard (shoulder) and forwards Pau Gasol (concussion) and Jordan Hill (hip) when they visit the Houston Rockets on Tuesday. Howard suffered his injury on Friday, while Gasol and Hill were hurt two days later. Houston can match its season-high five-game winning streak with a victory.
Howard matched a career high with 26 rebounds in Sunday’s game against the Denver Nuggets despite his ailing right shoulder. But he aggravated the injury, and an MRI exam found he has a torn labrum. Rookie Robert Sacre was recalled from the D-League and will start against the Rockets. The Lakers have lost three straight games and four of five. “At some point, you hit rock bottom and then the only place you can go is up,” guard Kobe Bryant said. The Rockets are 13-6 at home and are averaging 113.5 points during their four-game winning streak. The teams have split two meetings this season.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, TWC SportsNet (Los Angeles), CSN (Houston), NBA TV
ABOUT THE LAKERS (15-18, 13-19-1 ATS): Point guard Steve Nash is just five assists away from becoming the fifth player in NBA history to reach 10,000 in his career. The former star at Santa Clara put the approaching milestone in perspective. “Obviously, to have one scholarship offer, to play in the NBA as long as I have and be on the list with people like Magic Johnson is beyond my wildest dreams,” Nash said. “I grew up watching Magic on TV and idolizing him, so to be right there with him on that list is incredibly special, humbling and a tribute to the opportunity to play with a lot of great players in my career.” John Stockton is the all-time leader, followed by Jason Kidd, Mark Jackson and Johnson.
ABOUT THE ROCKETS (20-14, 20-13-1 ATS): James Harden was named Western Conference Player of the Week for the second time this season after averaging 29.3 points, 5.5 assists and 3.3 steals during Houston’s perfect week. Harden has scored 25 or more points in 12 consecutive games. He is averaging 26.4 points but just 17.5 in the two games against the Lakers. “They’re still a great team, no matter what their record is,” Harden said. “It’s going to be a tough matchup for us.” Harden has 11 outings of 30 or more points. Forward Chandler Parsons missed Monday's practice with an illness and is questionable for Tuesday night. Parsons is averaging 14 points and six rebounds this season.
* Over is 8-1 in the last nine meetings.
* Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings in Houston.
* Home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
* Lakers are 2-6 ATS in the last eight meetings.
* Lakers are 1-6 ATS in the last seven meetings in Houston.
1. Houston has won three of the last four meetings.
2. The Rockets are 13-6 at home while the Lakers are a meager 5-10 on the road.
3. Bryant has scored 27 or more points in 17 consecutive games.