Fifteen games into the season, and the Houston Rockets may be re-evaluating their long term deal with point guard Jeremy Lin.
The 24-year-old is helping to lead the fifth highest scoring offense in the league, but it’s hard to give him credit for that production when he’s averaging nearly three turnovers a game and shooting 38 percent from the field.
Lin will have a chance to turn things around Saturday night against the Utah Jazz at the Toyota Center.
The Rockets had a three-game win streak snapped when James Harden returned to Oklahoma City Wednesday and faced the wrath of Kevin Durant. The NBA’s leading scorer netted 37 points on 13-for-22 shooting in the Thunder’s 120-98 blowout victory.
Harden struggled from the field all night going 3-for-16, and earned most of his points at the free throw line while committing three turnovers. Power forward Patrick Patterson led Houston with 27 points, and Omer Asik snagged a team-high 12 rebounds along with 17 points.
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The 9-8 Jazz also suffered a loss to the Thunder on Friday, losing 106-94 with point guard Russell Westbrook flirting with a quadruple double. Utah couldn’t contain the young Oklahoma City point guard who recorded 23 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists and a whooping seven steals.
Forward Al Jefferson led Utah with 16 points and 11 rebounds, but the Thunder defense proved too strong with Serge Ibaka and Kevin Durant swatting 11 shots combined, and Westbrook filling the passing lanes.
Despite the loss, the Jazz are winners of five of their last seven games and only need to improve their road record. For the season, Utah is 3-7 away from EnergySolutions Arena.
The game tips-off at 8 p.m. and will be broadcast by Fox Sports Rocky Mountian, or you can watch a live stream online by purchasing NBA League Pass Broadband.
Point Spread: Houston is favored by 6 points.
Over/Under: 204 points
Prediction: Harden should bounce back after his poor performance against his old team, but Lin has to improve his shooting if Houston has a long term shot. Utah has a very strong frontline anchored by Jefferson, but the Rockets matchup well, and guard play should be the key Saturday. Houston should win in a very tight game.
Predicted Score: Houston 106, Utah 103