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Houston Rockets vs. Indiana Pacers: Tale of the tape

James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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The Houston Rockets’ next game will be against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, which will be the Rockets’ final back-to-back game of the 2019-20 season.

The Houston Rockets will be back in action for their 71st game of the season on Wednesday, as they’re set to face off against the Indiana Pacers. The quick turnaround could prove to be beneficial for the Rockets, as it will allow them to overcome Tuesday’s performance against the San Antonio Spurs, in which they made just 29.2 percent of their 3-pointers and fell flat 123-105, to give them a 44-26 record.

The Pacers currently hold the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference and hold a record of 43-28. The Pacers have announced that NBA bubble superstar T.J. Warren will be out of action, while Victor Oladipo, Malcolm Brogdon, and Myles Turner are all game-time decisions.

As for the Rockets, they’ll be without Russell Westbrook due to rest, but Danuel House and James Harden will be returning to the lineup, as they each sat out the Rockets’ game against the Spurs. The main headline for Wednesday’s game, from the Rockets’ standpoint, is the return of former starter Eric Gordon.

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Gordon suffered an ankle injury in the Rockets’ third and final scrimmage against the Boston Celtics that’s kept him sidelined for two weeks. Following the Rockets’ defeat to the Portland Trail Blazers, Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni announced that Gordon would resume shooting activities last Wednesday, and he’s been shooting and going through pre-game warm-ups of late.

This will also be the Rockets’ final game resting Russell Westbrook, as D’Antoni stated after the Spurs loss that he’d like to have a fully healthy crew for their final game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday. The Rockets have already faced the Pacers once during the 2019-20 season, as they won 111-102, although we can’t draw many takeaways from that contest, for a number of reasons.

For one, the Rockets had a much different roster during that game, as they hadn’t fully committed to small ball yet. The Rockets turned to Tyson Chandler and Isaiah Hartenstein for a combined 37 minutes of play, both of whom aren’t in the rotation anymore, while Hartenstein isn’t on the team anymore.

The Rockets also hadn’t made the trade for Robert Covington yet, so they’ll be a much different unit for the Pacers. On the Pacers’ front, they were led by Domantas Sabonis when they last faced the Rockets, who had 18 points and 13 rebounds, which were both team-highs.

But Sabonis is out for the season also, so the Pacers will have to find a way to make the game competitive without five potential starters in action. The Pacers lost their last game against the Miami Heat on Monday, and will surely be looking to avenge the loss.

For the Rockets, this game will be their final back-to-back game, which they’ll surely be excited about, as they went 3-6 in back-to-back games during the 2019-20 season.

How to watch the Houston Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs

Location: The Field House – Orlando, FL
Date/Time: Wednesday, Aug. 12 @ 3 PM Central Time
Local TV:  NBA TV, AT&T SportsNet Southwest, Fox Sports Midwest, The Sports Network
Radio: KBME/KTRH/KEYH, WOAI/KXTN

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