KEY POINTS

  • Rockets will host the Trail Blazers on Wednesday
  • Russell Westbrook will return to action 
  • Blazers will begin a three-game road trip 

The Houston Rockets did not know what hit them when rookie Ja Morant and the Grizzlies fashioned out a 121-110 thrashing on Tuesday night. They have to get right back up at fighting stance as they travel back home in Texas to host the Portland Trail Blazers for the second night of a back-to-back.

Russell Westbrook is expected to return to action after taking a rest in last night’s game – a usual occurrence whenever the Rockets play on two consecutive nights.

Houston has lost two of its last three outings as it fell to fifth place in the West standings holding a 26-13 record. Portland, on the other hand, is still out of the Playoff picture at 10th place with a losing 17-24 tally.

Rockets:

With Westbrook out, the task to carry Houston’s offensive load fell on James Harden’s hands. The “Beard” answered the call as he finished with 41 points – his 16th 40-point showcase of the season. But his backcourt partner’s absence was still heavily felt as the rest of the Rockets struggled to back him up on both ends of the floor.

Eric Gordon stepped up to fill the spot played by Westbrook. He scored a season-high 23 points as he continues to regain his form following an injury hiatus.

Trail Blazers:

The Trail Blazers are coming off a 115-112 escape win against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday. Their trip to Houston is the first stop of their three-game road trip and they look to jumpstart their travel with a victory over the Rockets. They will head over to Dallas on the 17th and OKC on the 18th before traveling back to Oregon to host the Warriors on the 20th.

Anthony Tolliver was a surprise explosion on Monday as he poured in all of his season-high 16 points in the payoff period and grabbed an all-important 11 boards to aid the Blazers to stave off the Hornets.

Odds and Trends:

The Rockets are tagged as favorites with a -8.5 handicap. That total line is priced level at 236 O/U.

The Rockets are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight-up loss of more than 10 points and 4-0 in their last 4 games as a home favorite.

Trail Blazers are 14-4 ATS in their last 18 Wednesday games and 2-9-1 in their last 12 games overall.

Under is 5-1 in Rockets’ last 6 Wednesday games and 5-0 in Trail Blazers’ last 5 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.

Over is 5-2 in Rockets’ last 7 vs. a team with a losing straight up record and 19-7 in Trail Blazers’ last 26 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.

Prediction:

Straight-up: Rockets

ATS: Trail Blazers

Total: Over

James Harden Houston Rockets James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets dribbles the ball against the Washington Wizards in the first half at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., Nov. 26, 2018. Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images