Grizzlies Host Rockets in Second Meeting of the Season
The Memphis Grizzlies will seek revenge against the Houston Rockets when they play host on Tuesday night. The Rockets stole their first meeting of the season 107-100 in a game that saw James Harden finish with 44 points and Ja Morant finish with 23 points.
They’ll play two more following this matchup, but every game is becoming important with the season’s halfway point upon us. The Houston Rockets have the 4th-best record in the West, but are one win from being 2nd. They’ll be without Russell Westbrook tonight.
Meanwhile, the Grizzlies are dangling by as the 8th-best team in the West. That might be good for the playoffs, but they have 6 teams breathing down their necks. Both teams will be hungry for a victory in this one.
Houston Winners in 4 of Last 6 Games
The Houston Rockets have not played up to expectations this season, but they’ve won 4 of their last 5 games and are coming off a game where they scored 139 points. They’ve had a chance to recoup before heading out on a one-game road trip.
They come into this game with the No. 1 ranked offense in the league at 119.2 points per game. James Harden is the main contributor to that with an astounding 37.7 points per game. They’re also the 5th-best rebounding team. They’re either making people miss or grabbing their own misses, every night.
They’ll need all they can get with Russ out this game.
They dropped a tough one two games ago in Russell’s return to OKC, but bounced back against the Timberwolves last game. They seem locked in and all business and will begin a four-game homestand following this game — an important one that includes another one vs. OKC, Denver, Lakers, and Portland.
Memphis Grizzlies Tearing It Up Lately
The Memphis Grizzlies have been on a tear these past five games. They’ve been scoring at a pace the Houston Rockets can’t even match. Winners of the past five, they’ve averaged 127.2 points per game over that stretch — 7 points higher than the Rockets over the same stretch.
They’ve had a pretty stout offense all year, ranking 8th in the league. They actually lead the league in assists per game, thanks in large part to rookie Ja Morant. They have a nice young core with Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Dillon Brooks with Jonas Valanciunas adding veteran presence.
They’ll have to take advantage of the Rockets’ unsteady play on the road this season and rely on offense to get things done. If they can hammer the ball in the paint and spread the floor out with three pointers, they’ll have a shot at outlasting the Rockets.
Rockets / Grizzlies Betting Lines
BetOnline has the Houston Rockets (-190) with the 4.5-point advantage over the Memphis Grizzlies (+165), despite being on the road without Russ. They don’t expect that to change the offensive output, with the over/under listed at 238 total points.
Free Betting Pick
The Houston Rockets are going to miss Russell Westbrook in this game, but it’s for the greater good as he rests. The Grizzlies will have to take advantage of this and capitalize on their offensive possessions. That’s a lot of offense Houston will be without.
Taking that into consideration and the fact the Rockets haven’t played well on the road this season, I like the Memphis Grizzlies in this one. Their play over the past 5 games has been incredibly jaw-dropping and I can see them continuing it vs. a Russ-less Houston team.
I will say, Houston won’t go down without a fight. Big offense in this one.
Final Score 121-117, Memphis Grizzlies.