Houston (32-11) at Miami (11-30)
When: Tuesday, January 17th 2017
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL
Time: 7:35 ET | TV: NBA TV
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The Houston Rockets look to keep pace with the San Antonio Spurs in the West, while the Miami Heat are just trying to string together some wins. The two will meet Tuesday night in Miami. Houston lost back-to-back games for the first time all season last week when they fell to Minnesota and Memphis. They bounced back on the road Sunday with a 137-112 pummeling of Brooklyn – their highest point total in the new calendar year. Houston averages an NBA second-best 114.9 points a game and have scored over 100 in every game since November 23rd. Star James Harden got back to his normal triple-double self against the Nets with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. He’s third in the NBA in scoring (28.4) and first in assists (11.7). Shooting guard Eric Gordon was fantastic off the bench in the win at Brooklyn on Sunday, scoring 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting including 4-of-8 from long range. Gordon has hit 41.1% of his three-pointers this season. Houston is just a half game behind the Spurs entering Monday’s action and will get the Golden State Warriors on Friday night at home.
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Miami finally returns home after a brutal road trip that saw them go 1-5 and the closest loss being eight points. The Heat are finding a hard time scoring since Dwayne Wade left for Chicago. Miami is 29th in the league in scoring (98.3), 25th in field goal percentage (43.9), 27th in 3-point percentage (33.8), and they’re the worst free throw shooting team in the league at a miserable 67.7%. Whatever scoring they do get, they spread around as eight players average in double-figures scoring led by Goran Dragic (19.0). The veteran from Slovenia has turned the ball over 104 times already this season including five times each in two of the games on the latest trip. Haasan Whiteside is an absolute monster under the basket averaging 14.4 rebounds a game which lead the NBA. He also averages 2.2 blocks per contest. Miami has lost 10 of their last 11, but four straight home games could get them back on track.
I don’t see how Miami can keep up with the high-flying Rockets in this one. I can easily see a double-digit win for Houston and Harden will get another triple-double.
Pick: Rockets -9.5