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Rockets vs. Suns preview: CP3 follow up performance?

PHOENIX, AZ - NOVEMBER 16: Chris Paul
PHOENIX, AZ - NOVEMBER 16: Chris Paul
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The Rockets travel to Phoenix tonight to play the Suns in the second-half of an ESPN doubleheader.

The Houston Rockets (29-11) are looking to win their second straight game and their 30th of the season tonight in Phoenix. Last game against the Trail Blazers, the Rockets took care of business and won by 9 points, 121-112.

The Phoenix Suns (16-26) are coming off one of their best wins of the season. They defeated the OKC Thunder by double digits, 114-100. Against the Rockets in the middle of November, though, they lost 142-116.

Let’s look at the injury report:

Injury Report

Instead of a written out injury report for the Rockets, we’ll use this picture from Adam Wexler that tells the whole story:

#Rockets lengthy injury report: pic.twitter.com/9iSJ1Sli7S

— Adam Wexler (@awexlerKPRC) January 11, 2018

Yeah…that is not ideal. The Rockets will have some issues tonight with center depth.

For the Suns, Marquese Chriss is out with a hip injury. Rookie Josh Jackson is unlikely to play with a hip strain. It is unknown if former Rocket Isaiah Canaan will suit up with a strained adductor. Davon Reed, Alan Williams and Brandon Knight are all recovering from long-term injuries.

Projected Starting 5

Rockets

Chris Paul/Eric Gordon/Trevor Ariza/Ryan Anderson/Clint Capela

Suns

Tyler Ulis/Devin Booker/T.J. Warren/Dragan Bender/Tyson Chandler

Keys to Victory

The Rockets will need to take care of business tonight in Phoenix. They should not lose to a Suns team missing two of their best young players, no matter how injured the Rockets are.

Chris Paul will be defended by either Ulis or Booker to start things out likely, two players that are not known for defense. Look for CP3 to have another big night.

Road Ryan Anderson will need to be in full effect tonight as he goes against a young stretch four in Dragan Bender.

Without Nene and Tarik Black, Ryno will likely be the backup center. It’s also possible that Chinanu Onuaku gets some playing time as Zhou Qi is out as well. Tyson Chandler and Alex Len are both pretty decent rebounders, so Ryno and Nanu will have to be ready.

One of the key parts of the blowout against the Suns in November was the defense against Devin Booker. He scored just 18 points on 7/16 shooting during that game. The Rockets will need to try to replicate that tonight.

The game tonight will be on ESPN and AT&T Sportsnet SW at 9:30 p.m. CT. Tune in late at night to watch the Rockets go for win No. 30!

Next: Harden hasn't lost ground in the MVP race

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