(Sports Network) - The Houston Rockets take a five-game winning streak into
Friday's Texas tussle at the AT&T Center against the San Antonio Spurs,
winners of three in a row themselves.
The Rockets had won the first four of this current streak by an average of
20.7 points. They scored an average of 118.7 ppg over those first four, but
the fifth win in a row came in a much different fashion.
The Rockets pulled out an 87-84 road victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves
"That was the anti how we wanted to play," admitted head coach Kevin McHale.
"We struggled to find a rhythm all night long. I had an idea we could run a
couple of things but we had to keep it close. Then down the stretch I thought
there was a play I thought would work really well for James, we got it to him
and he delivered for us big time down the stretch."
The James he's referring to is James Harden, the fourth-leading scorer in the
NBA. Harden had 30 points against the Timberwolves, including 17 in the
decisive final period.
"I was just being aggressive," said Harden, who went 11-for-22 from the field.
"I knew it was time where somebody needed someone to step up and that's what
I'm here for."
Omer Asik continued his spectacular work on the glass with 17 rebounds. He is
fourth in the NBA in rebounding.
All three of the Spurs consecutive victories came at home. They knocked off
the Toronto Raptors, 100-80 on Wednesday night, led by the Big Three of Tim
Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.
The Spurs' point guard is definitely impressed with their neighbors in the
Lone Star State.
"They've been playing very well," said Parker. "They've had some big wins on
the road. I'm sure they have momentum right now. They're playing great
basketball, so it'll be a great test for us."
Friday night's contest should be an offensive battle. The Rockets lead the NBA
in scoring at 105.3 ppg, while the Spurs are third at 104.9 ppg. The
difference is the Spurs rank 15th in opponents' scoring, while the Rockets are
a dismal 28th.
The Spurs travel to their other neighbor in Texas, the Dallas Mavericks, on
Sunday. San Antonio has lost its last four on the road.
The Spurs are 2-0 this season against the Rockets with one win in San Antonio
and one in Houston. The Spurs are 8-3 in their last 11 against Houston and the
Rockets haven't won in Alamo City in their last six.
The Sports Network