New Orleans At Houston
When: 8:30 PM
ET, Thursday, December 18, 2014
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
The Houston Rockets look to win their fourth consecutive game when they host the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday. The Rockets have won seven of their last eight contests — including a wild 115-111 overtime victory at Denver on Wednesday — to keep pace with the Memphis Grizzlies at the top of the Southwest Division. Houston begins a stretch of three straight games at the Toyota Center and hopes to win its fourth in a row at home by avenging a 105-100 setback to the Pelicans on April 16.
New Orleans bounced back from an emotional overtime loss to the NBA-leading Golden State Warriors with a come-from-behind victory over the Utah Jazz on Tuesday. Anthony Davis returned from a chest injury as the Pelicans erased a double-digit deficit by scoring 41 points in the fourth quarter to move back to .500. "We've always been a team that's going to keep swinging no matter what," coach Monty Williams told reporters. "We just want to improve and keep this moving in the right direction."
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, FSN New Orleans, ROOT Sports (Houston)
ABOUT THE PELICANS (12-12): Davis wore a protective vest Tuesday, but that did not hamper his performance as he scored 31 points on 12-of-15 shooting to go along with nine rebounds and three blocked shots. Ryan Anderson came off the bench to score 28 points — including six 3-pointers — and has gone 16-of-32 beyond the arc in his last three outings. Tyreke Evans scored nine of his 19 points in the fourth quarter versus the Jazz and is averaging 23.8 points and 5.6 assists in his last five games.
ABOUT THE ROCKETS (19-5): James Harden poured in 41 points — including eight in overtime — to go along with 10 assists for his second straight double-double in the win over the Nuggets. Dwight Howard, who collected 24 points, 16 rebounds and four blocked shots Wednesday, has scored 50 points and pulled down 29 boards in two games since returning to the lineup after missing the previous 11 with a knee injury. Jason Terry missed the game against Denver to be with his wife, who is expecting their fifth child, and his status is unknown for Thursday.
1. The Rockets have won seven of their last nine against New Orleans but lost the previous meeting in the 2013-14 regular-season finale.
2. The Pelicans have lost five of their last six road games
3. Houston has scored 100 points or more in each of the last five matchups with New Orleans.
PREDICTION: Rockets 109, Pelicans 99
Stats and Records
Houston Off vs
New Orleans Def
100.3 Points For
102.6 Points Against