Suns Host Rockets

The Houston Rockets opened a five-game stretch against some of the NBA's toughest teams with the second-longest winning streak in league history.

They'll be happy to close it with back-to-back victories.

After bouncing back from consecutive defeats, the Rockets hope to finish the brutal stretch with a win as they visit the streaking Phoenix Suns on Saturday night.

Oddsmakers from have made Phoenix -7 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 203.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 57% of bets for this game have been placed on Phoenix –7 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Houston (47-22) had won 21 in a row coming into perhaps the toughest five-game stretch on its schedule. The Rockets extended their remarkable run by beating the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, but suffered back-to-back blowouts against Boston and at New Orleans.

Houston was outscored 105-59 in the second halves of those games.

On Friday, however, the Rockets got back in the win column by holding off Golden State 109-106. Bobby Jackson and Carl Landry came off the bench to score 16 and 17 points, respectively, as Houston pulled within one game of the Western Conference-leading Lakers.

"This is an insane race," said Rockets forward Shane Battier, who added 17 points. "You can't even begin to worry about it. You just have to win games. At the end of the day, if you win enough you'll be in the right spot."

While the bench scoring was one key to the victory, the Rockets were no doubt just as happy to see Tracy McGrady regain his form. McGrady was held to 23 points on 10-of-32 shooting in the back-to-back losses, but rebounded with 26, eight rebounds and eight assists while going 11-for-23 from the field Friday.

"We just had energy," said McGrady, who's averaging 22.9 points and shooting 45.1 percent in Houston's wins, compared to 18.5 points and 39.3 percent in the losses. "We had a lot more energy than we did the last two games. We did a better job executing and moving the ball. This was a big win."

Houston will likely need a similar performance from McGrady to keep up with Phoenix (46-22), which has put together its longest winning streak since November, quieting some critics who questioned the acquisition of Shaquille O'Neal in February.

The Suns were 3-6 in O'Neal's first nine games, but have won their last six to put pressure on the West's top teams. They're currently the fifth seed - 1 1/2 games behind the Lakers.

The Suns overcame a season-high 27 turnovers to beat Seattle 110-98 on Wednesday, and are hoping to win seven straight for the first time since their season-high eight-game run from Nov. 9-23.

But the victory was costly. Phoenix guard Raja Bell crumpled to the court when he landed on a Seattle player's foot on a 3-point attempt. X-rays were negative and the Suns said Bell had a mild-to-moderate ankle sprain. He's expected to miss this game, and be day-to-day after that.

Bell was averaging 14.0 points and shooting 52.1 percent (25-for-48) from 3-point range in his last eight games.

Bell is also known for playing great defense, which Phoenix will surely miss when trying to match up with McGrady. Bell was the primary defender on McGrady when the Suns held him to 18 points and 7-for-19 shooting on Nov. 28, but the Rockets won that game 100-94.

Phoenix won the teams' previous meeting 115-105 on Nov. 17 in Houston - its 12th victory in the last 16 games in the series.

By: Marc Young - - Email Us

More NBA Basketball Coverage from

 - 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 daily newsletter
 - NBA Basketball Home

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Updated NBA Finals Odds After a busy week with the NBA Draft taking place, which team improved their odds to win the 2018 NBA Finals?
Thumbnail Will Fox be a top-5 pick? With the 2017 NBA Drafttakes place later tonight. Where can we expect one of the top prospects, De’Aaron Fox, to land tonight?
Thumbnail Fultz to go to the 76ers? The Boston Celticshave traded out of the No. 1 pick. The Philadelphia 76ersnow hold the top pick once again. Is it a slam dunk who they will take in the NBA...
Thumbnail 2018 NBA Finals Odds After dominating the 2017 NBA Playoffs, will anyone keep the Golden State Warriors from winning the NBA Finals again...
Thumbnail Stephen Curry Game 5 Props Will Stephen Curry bounce back from a poor showing in Game 4 when the Golden State Warriors host the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals tonight at 9PM...

NBA Headlines

  • CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls are not ready to say whether veteran point guard Rajon Rondo will be back for a second season.
    Vice president of basketball operations John Paxson says that ''i...
  • NEW YORK (AP) Russell Westbrook has earned kudos from Michael Jordan and Taylor Swift after being honored with his first league MVP trophy at the NBA Awards show.
    A letter signed by Jordan an...
  • LOS ANGELES (AP) LaVar Ball has brought his Big Baller Brand from the basketball court to the wrestling ring.
    The outspoken father of NBA draft No. 2 pick Lonzo Ball showed up with the newly ...
  • NEW YORK (AP) The Latest on the NBA awards show (all times local):
    10:55 p.m.
    Draymond Green is the Defensive Player of the Year, ending Kawhi Leonard's two-year reign.
    Green was re...
  • NEW YORK (AP) The Latest on the NBA awards show (all times local):
    11:10 p.m.
    Russell Westbrook has won the NBA's MVP award after setting a record with 42 triple-doubles last season.

NBA Team Pages