|NBA: Houston Rockets at Philadelphia 76ers Preview, Matchup, Picks & Odds|
|Written by Anthony Rome|
|Monday, 10 December 2007 07:00|
The Philadelphia 76ers no doubt wish they could play the New York Knicks more often this season.
After sweeping a home-and-home series from the struggling Knicks, the 76ers will look for their first three-game winning streak of the season on Monday when they host the Houston Rockets.
Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Houston –6.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 182 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 64% of bets for this game have been placed on Houston –6.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).
The Sixers (7-13) beat the Knicks 101-90 at home on Friday and 105-77 in New York the following night, leap-frogging them to move out of last place in the Atlantic Division. The back-to-back wins were the first of the season for the young Sixers, who had dropped three straight before facing New York.
"It's nice to get a win, back-to-back especially," said Philadelphia forward Andre Iguodala, who scored 17 points on Saturday after a 15-point effort in Friday's win. "I don't think the Knicks played their best basketball. We still have room for improvement but we will take these two and keep moving."
Saturday's point total was the second-highest this season for Philadelphia, which has scored in triple digits in its last three games to raise its paltry season average to 92.7 points.
"We were just executing. I don't want to say we were playing harder than them, we were just playing hard," said forward Reggie Evans, who recorded 26 rebounds over the two wins. "I can't really speak for them, I don't really know their team like that to know if they're playing hard or not. But I can really say we were out there playing hard. Everybody who had a Sixers uniform gave an A-plus out there and it really showed."
However, the Sixers will need to figure out a way to win against better competition at home, where they are just 4-7. They have also dropped their last five home games against the Rockets (11-10) and nine of 10 overall meetings in the inter-conference series.
Philadelphia will also try to contain Houston's Tracy McGrady, who leads the NBA with an average of 29.2 points on the road.
"There's nothing greater than being on the road. The crowd is into it with a lot of energy in the building and you shutting them up with a big shot," McGrady told the Rockets' official Web site. "There's nothing greater than that."
However, Houston coach Rick Adelman doesn't think the road his been very kind to the rest of his team. After starting 6-1 overall this season, the Rockets have gone 5-9 - a slump Adelman blames on the team playing 13 of its first 21 on the road.
Houston is 6-7 on the road this season, but that mark includes three losses in its last four games away from home.
"We're on the road all the time," Adelman said. "It's a little bit different than being home. You've got a totally different atmosphere. We haven't been consistent in the way we've played."
McGrady had a game-high 23 points on Sunday, but the Rockets blew an 11-point halftime lead and lost 93-80 in Toronto.
Guard Rafer Alston missed his first game of the season with a strained groin, and his status for Monday is uncertain.
By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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