|NBA: Houston Rockets at Phoenix Suns Preview & Picks|
|Written by Anthony Rome|
|Wednesday, 28 November 2007 03:01|
Not Down For Long
The last time the Phoenix Suns lost a game, they responded with eight straight wins.
Phoenix will try to rebound from its first loss in three weeks when it hosts the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.
Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Phoenix –6.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 205 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 85% of bets for this game have been placed on Phoenix –6 (View NBA Bet Percentages).
The Suns (11-3) lead the NBA with 108.9 points per game, but finally ran into a team that could keep pace with their high-octane offense - the Golden State Warriors, the league's second-highest scorers.
Phoenix allowed Golden State to score 45 points in the first quarter Monday and the race was on. The Warriors led by eight after the first and upped their lead each quarter on their way to a 129-114 win.
"It was a track meet, and they won the meet," said Suns forward Grant Hill, who scored 17 points. "They're similar to us, and presented different matchup problems. We had to play catchup after that first quarter. Games like this are fun when you win, but hopefully we will see them a few more times."
It was the first loss since Nov. 7 for the Suns, who had put together the longest winning streak of the season by any Western Conference team.
Phoenix outrebounded Golden State 48-39, but was done in by 20 turnovers - six more than its average - which led to 37 points for the Warriors.
Steve Nash, who averages a team-leading 19.2 points and a league-best 11.0 assists, had 23 points and 13 assists but committed a season-worst eight turnovers.
"We just turned the ball over a lot," said Suns coach Mike D'Antoni. "A lot of them were unforced, and maybe they wore our legs out. We need to get into better shape from some of the guys."
Phoenix had a season-high 25 turnovers in its only meeting with Houston, but the Rockets turned them into only 23 points in a 115-105 home loss on Nov. 17.
However, Houston leading scorer Tracy McGrady missed that game with a sprained right elbow. He's returned to the lineup for the past four games and has looked to be back at full strength in the last two.
McGrady helped the Rockets (8-7) end a six-game losing streak with 35 points in a 109-81 victory over Denver on Saturday, then scored 36 in an 88-71 road win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday.
McGrady had 19 points Monday in the fourth quarter, which Houston opened with a 22-5 run to take control.
"In the first half, I wasn't really that aggressive and wasn't really looking to score the ball that much," McGrady said. "I was just trying to get other guys involved and let the offense flow. Then in the fourth quarter, I just wanted to put my will into the game and take it over because I saw a lot of gaps in their defense. And I got myself rolling."
He was held to a combined 34 points and shot 13-of-39 from the field in losses to Dallas and Miami in his first two games back in action.
Aside from McGrady's 26.6 points per game and center Yao Ming's 21.9 average, the Rockets don't have any other players with double-figure scoring averages. The Suns have six, including five who average at least 15.4 points.
The Rockets are allowing a conference-low 91.9 points per game this season, but have given up at least 100 in eight straight meetings with Phoenix and have lost seven of them.
By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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