NBA Basketball: Houston Rockets at Cleveland Cavaliers - Cavs Favored

Team Page: Houston :: Cleveland

56% of Bets Placed on Cleveland -4 | Matchup | NBA Picks
Although LeBron James has been playing like an All-Star lately, he's rarely done it against Tracy McGrady and the Houston Rockets.

James looks to keep up his torrid pace for the Cleveland Cavaliers when they host the Rockets on Monday night.

Oddsmakers have made Cleveland -4 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 180.5 total points (View NBA Sports Books).

Following a rough stretch of games leading up to the All-Star break during which he appeared tired, James has been playing with a renewed confidence and swagger of late.

James scored 36 points Saturday, making 15 of 17 free throws to exceed the 30-point mark for the third straight game in Cleveland's 120-97 rout of Toronto. The victory was the second for the Cavs (34-25) in three contests.

"I've got to get to the rim, and I've got to go up there and make my free throws,'' said James, who entered Saturday making just 67.5 percent of his foul shots. "I did that tonight and I'm going to continue to do that.''

The three-time All-Star is averaging 33.6 points on 53.8 percent shooting in his last seven games after averaging just 19.6 points on 40.3 percent from the field in the previous seven contests.

James' scoring average during the earlier seven-game stretch is similar to his career number against Houston (36-23). In seven contests against the Rockets, he's averaging 19.9 points - his lowest total against any opponent.

James had 21 points on 7-of-22 shooting in an 81-63 loss to the Rockets on Dec. 2, when the Cavs finished with a season low in points and shot a season-worst 28.2 percent from the floor.

Cleveland has dropped six of its last seven to Houston, including three straight at Quicken Loans Arena. James averaged 17.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists in those home losses.

While James has struggled to find his shooting touch against the Rockets, McGrady has topped the 30-point mark in six of his seven meetings with the Cavs star, averaging 31.1 points in those contests.

The only time McGrady didn't break 30 was the Dec. 2 meeting, when he left the game with a mild concussion after getting hit in the face by teammate Dikembe Mutombo's elbow in the first quarter. He had seven points in 11 minutes before departing.

McGrady had 21 points, all in the first half, as the Rockets lost 97-74 to San Antonio on Saturday. Houston shot 38.5 percent from the floor and committed 19 turnovers that led to 27 points.

"For us to turn the ball over 10 times in the first quarter, that just says it all right there,'' said McGrady, who's averaging 29.0 points in six games since the All-Star break.

The Rockets have lost five of their last eight, and other than McGrady have been struggling offensively. They're averaging 86.0 points on 40.5 percent shooting in their last four games, losing three of them.

Houston has won two straight road contests, however, and has the sixth-best road record in the league at 16-13.

Cleveland, meanwhile, has won five of its last six at Quicken Loans Arena, and has the sixth-best home mark in the NBA at 22-8.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

More NBA Basketball Coverage from theSpread.com

 - NBA Basketball teams
 - NBA Basketball standings
 - NBA Basketball schedule
 - NBA Basketball scoreboard
 - NBA Basketball injuries
 - NBA Basketball matchups
 - NBA Basketball stats
 - NBA Basketball odds
 - NBA Basketball public betting chart
 - NBA Basketball news wire
 - NBA Basketball top stories
 - NBA Basketball trends
 - AccuScore NBA Basketball predictions
 - Expert NBA Basketball picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NBA Basketball Home

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Spurs vs. Thunder Game 3 Total Pick The Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs could find themselves in a physical battle when Game 3...
Thumbnail Spurs vs. Thunder Game 3 Pick The Oklahoma City Thunder look to take a series lead on the San Antonio Spurs when the two meet up in Game 3...
Thumbnail Cavs vs. Hawks Game 3 Pick Will the Atlanta Hawks be able to bounce back against the Cleveland Cavaliers with the series moving to Atlanta...
Thumbnail Heat vs. Raptors Game 2 Total Pick After hitting the over in Game 1 with the aid of overtime, will the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors come...
Thumbnail Heat vs. Raptors Game 2 Pick Can the Miami Heat establish a 2-0 lead on the road against the Toronto Raptors? Here’s our pick for Game 2...
More inNBA Articles  

NBA Headlines

More inNBA News  

NBA Team Pages