Keys for the Houston Rockets against the San Antonio Spurs on Christmas night:
James Harden’s Status
Harden is still unsure if he will be able to play Wednesday night, but he did say that he was able to go through a light practice on Tuesday without any pain.
“I wasn’t really in any pain so we will see how it feels tomorrow. It’s getting better. The swelling is going down and the pain is getting better.”
Omer Asik and Greg Smith will once again be out.
New Jerseys, Same Formula
Both teams will be sporting their Christmas short-sleeved jerseys, which may or may not have an effect on the players early on. The Rockets must play with the same amount of intensity that they did on Nov. 30 when they came into San Antonio and pulled out a 112-106 win. James Harden scored 31 points and Chandler Parsons added 25, while holding the Spurs to just 35 percent shooting(9 for 26) from behind the 3-point line, as well as holding a 54-33 advantage on the boards.
Establishing the Lead
The Rockets lead for most of the game during their first meeting, and it put the pressure on the Spurs throughout the 4th quarter. Not only must the Rockets look to get out to an early start, they have to be able to hold the lead, as the Dallas Mavericks erased a halftime deficit on Monday night to come away with a win.
Tip: 7 PM CT