- San Diego State football news: Four-star recruit DeSean Holmes abandons program
- Pressure doesn’t break Chris Taylor-Yamanoha
- Video: Watch Marshawn Lynch sell Skittles on shopping network
- Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal show love for one another on podcast
- Fred Jackson visits with Seahawks, contract imminent, per report
- Clippers fined $250K for mishandling DeAndre Jordan free agency
- Leonard Williams avoids serious knee-injury
- Tyrell Williams – former NCAA Division II wideout – is bolting up in San Diego
- Boise State denies that Sam Ukwuachu’s 2013 dismissal was because of allegations of abuse
- Russell Wilson says he didn’t suffer a concussion in NFC Championship game
James Harden says Blazers will be major test
- Updated: December 12, 2013
As the Houston Rockets (15-7) get set to take on the Portland Trail Blazers (18-4) at the Moda Center, Rockets guard James Harden knows it will take a near-perfect game from Houston to defeat the Blazers for the second time this season. Houston handed Portland its first home loss of the season on Nov. 5, 2013.
Houston handed Portland its second loss on the season, the first at the Moda Center on November 5th before the Blazers went on an 11-game winning streak that lasted nearly the entire month, and they did it behind 33 points from Harden and 29 from Dwight Howard. – CSNNW
With Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum and LaMarcus Aldridge in the starting lineup, there is no shortage of “weapons” of the Blazers. As touched upon by Harden in the interview, Portland’s ability to hurt the opponent from the outside, mid-range, and inside is the main reason they are off to one of the best starts in franchise history. Portland’s starting lineup (Lillard, Matthews, Batum, Aldridge, Robin Lopez) is the league’s second-ranked high-usage unit, sporting a net efficiency rating of +12.1. Only the Indiana Pacers’ starting five is better. For how well the starting unit has played, Portland’s bench has been quite the opposite. The Blazers’ bench ranks 27th in the league in scoring, averaging just 23.4 points per game.
AccuScore has Portland as a slight 54.7 percent favorite to win Thursday night versus Houston. The average score after 10,000 simulations is: 109-108. The key to the game will be how competitive Houston can stay to start the second half. So far this season, the Blazers have been 10.4 points per 100 possessions better than opponents; in the first half of games, they have only been about one point better than their opponents.
Thursday night’s game tips off at 7:30 PST. The game will be shown on TNT following the Los Angeles Clippers-Brooklyn Nets game.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images North America
Latest posts by Rohit Ghosh (see all)
- Clippers fined $250K for mishandling DeAndre Jordan free agency - August 30, 2015
- Giovani dos Santos dazzles in debut as Los Angeles Galaxy win 3-1 - August 9, 2015
- Melvin Gordon feels good about adjusting to NFL speed - August 2, 2015