The Rockets will host a New Year’s Eve matchup against the Lakers as they look to end the losing streak where it started.
The Houston Rockets (25-9) will look to stop their 5-game losing streak heading into 2018. They most recently lost to the Washington Wizards on the road Friday night.
The Los Angeles Lakers (11-23) are losers of 5 in a row, much like the Rockets. Their last win came at the beginning of the Rockets’ losing streak on December 20. They then went on to lose 5 straight to the Warriors, Blazers, T-Wolves, Grizzlies and finally the Clippers.
Houston will need to not play down to LA’s level like they did last time and take care of business. This streak has gone on too long, even with 3 main players in and out of the lineup.
Let’s look at the injuries:
James Harden is questionable to play tonight with a foot bruise. This comes on the one-year anniversary of his 53 points, 16 rebounds, 17 assists night against the Knicks last season.
Clint Capela and Ryan Anderson are both probable to play and Chris Paul is healthy.
Luc Mbah a Moute remains out with a dislocated shoulder.
Brook Lopez is out for the Lakers with a sprained ankle. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is out for personal reasons (we know why). Lonzo Ball is out with a shoulder sprain.
Projected Starting 5
Chris Paul/James Harden/Trevor Ariza/Ryan Anderson/Clint Capela
Possible substitute: Eric Gordon is Harden isn’t good to go.
Jordan Clarkson/Brandon Ingram/Josh Hart/Kyle Kuzma/Julius Randle
Houston’s starting 5 is 12-0 when fully healthy. Hopefully, Harden will play tonight. If not, the Rockets still have the talent to win with Chris Paul running the show.
Kyle Kuzma of the Lakers absolutely torched the Rockets last time out. He dropped a career-high 38 points in the upset win.
Eric Gordon has averaged 21.8 points per game during the losing streak. Houston will need more of the same from him if Harden misses.
This is the start of a fairly easy part of the year for Houston, the exceptions being the two games against the Warriors.
Be sure to tune into AT&T Sportsnet SW and cheer on your Rockets before the clock hits midnight! Happy New Year from Space City Scoop.
*All stats via Basketball-Reference*