|Last 5 Games||3-2||-1||3-2||3-2||103.6||47.4||46.0%||48.6||102.4||50.6||46.8%||51.2|
|Team Stats (All Games)||105.5||51.7||41-83||48.8%||9-21||40.0%||16-20||78.4%||50||9||25||18||7||14||5|
|vs opponents surrendering||101.2||50.7||38-83||45.4%||8-22||35.9%||18-24||75.6%||51||11||22||21||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Road Games)||104.5||50.3||40-84||47.5%||8-21||37.7%||16-21||78.9%||50||10||23||19||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (All Games)||97.4||46.4||38-85||44.3%||6-18||35.4%||16-21||75.9%||50||11||20||19||8||13||5|
|vs opponents averaging||101.4||50.8||38-83||45.5%||8-22||36.1%||18-24||75.8%||51||11||22||21||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||97.7||46.6||37-84||44.4%||6-18||34.0%||17-23||75.6%||51||11||20||20||7||14||5|
|Last 5 Games||3-2||-0.8||1-4||5-0||122.4||60.4||47.7%||58.4||118.8||59.8||46.4%||54.0|
|Team Stats (All Games)||107.8||54.6||38-80||47.3%||10-27||35.8%||22-31||71.1%||55||11||21||21||8||16||6|
|vs opponents surrendering||101.1||50.7||38-83||45.5%||8-21||36.0%||18-24||75.5%||51||11||22||21||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Home Games)||109.4||55.9||38-80||47.9%||10-27||36.3%||23-33||70.5%||57||11||22||20||8||16||6|
|Stats Against (All Games)||103.1||51.0||39-88||44.2%||8-23||35.3%||17-23||75.6%||51||12||22||24||9||14||6|
|vs opponents averaging||101.4||50.8||38-83||45.5%||8-21||36.2%||18-24||76.1%||51||11||22||21||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||100.3||49.1||38-89||42.8%||9-24||35.4%||16-22||72.1%||51||13||21||25||9||14||5|
|Average power rating of opponents played: SAN ANTONIO 95.6, HOUSTON 95.9|
|3/19/2014||@ LA LAKERS||125-109||W||-13||W||220||O||50-95||52.6%||57||12||39-91||42.9%||50||12|
|3/22/2014||@ GOLDEN STATE||99-90||W||3.5||W||206||U||35-89||39.3%||51||11||31-77||40.3%||59||18|
|4/3/2014||@ OKLAHOMA CITY||94-106||L||3.5||L||206||U||38-88||43.2%||49||18||40-81||49.4%||48||13|
|4/14/2014||@ HOUSTON|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/16/2014||LA LAKERS|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|3/11/2014||@ OKLAHOMA CITY||98-106||L||5||L||216.5||U||33-79||41.8%||53||13||34-80||42.5%||57||13|
|4/8/2014||@ LA LAKERS||145-130||W||-9||W||228||O||56-97||57.7%||64||14||44-95||46.3%||41||11|
|4/14/2014||SAN ANTONIO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/16/2014||@ NEW ORLEANS|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|SAN ANTONIO: GUARDS:Considering how exhausted he looked by the end of the Finals, don't be surprised if TONY PARKER gets more rest during the regular season . . . DANNY GREEN had a coming-out party this past June. A three-point specialist who can defend, the Spurs will lean on him more heavily during the first 82 . . . MANU GINOBILI looks oh-so-close to being done. His minutes will decline . . . MARCO BELINELLI adds quality depth behind Green. He'll take many of the minutes that used to go to Ginobili and Gary Neal, who left for Milwaukee . . . CORY JOSEPH enters the season as the favorite to back up Parker, but it's a fluid situation . . . NANDO DE COLO fell out of the rotation last season, but has enough talent that he should bounce back . . . PATTY MILLS is more of a cheerleader than a useful bench piece. FORWARDS: TIM DUNCAN just keeps going. The 2012-13 regular season was his best in years. The Spurs will keep his minutes in check, but he likely has another great season in him . . . KAWHI LEONARD is one of the league's elite role players, and he seems to keep getting better. He can shoot, score off the dribble and defend . . . JEFF AYRES is a skilled big man who will back up Duncan and can play alongside him for stretches. Like all of their frontcourt players besides Duncan, the player formerly known as Jeff Pendergraph, will see his playing time will fluctuate greatly depending on matchups. CENTERS: TIAGO SPLITTER continues to improve rapidly, and he'll now take the bulk of the minutes alongside Duncan. But as we saw in last year's Finals, head coach Gregg Popovich will keep him on the bench if the matchup isn't right . . . BORIS DIAW's versatility gives Pop options off the bench . . . MATT BONNER is pretty much just around to participate in the Three-Point Shootout at this point in his career.|
|HOUSTON: GUARDS: JAMES HARDEN is a franchise player, and as one of the league's elite pick-and-roll threats, he and Dwight Howard have the potential to be dominant . . . Trade rumors will continue to circle JEREMY LIN, who isn't an off-the-ball threat to fit alongside Harden. He is, however, clearly a starting-caliber point guard . . . PATRICK BEVERLEY really shined in back-up minutes last year, and he's part of the reason that Lin is expendable. He's strong defensively, and he proved capable of running the second unit. He'll be one of the league's top back-up PGs if Lin stays . . . Rookie combo guard ISAIAH CANAAN will be developed as a spot-up shooter . . . REGGIE WILLIAMS is a roster filler . . . AARON BROOKS is around as a reclamation project . . . RONNIE BREWER provides a much-needed athletic perimeter defender. FORWARDS: CHANDLER PARSONS is an elite role player. He entered the league with the reputation as a pure athlete, but it's his ability to knock down the corner three that's made him so valuable in Houston . . . GREG SMITH looks like another great find for the Rockets. He's an athletic banger who can allow Dwight Howard to roam a bit on defense . . . DONATAS MOTIEJUNAS showed flashes as a rookie, but the stretch four looks like a situational role player for the foreseeable future . . . FRANCISCO GARCIA will lend a veteran presence to the second unit . . . Versatile TERRENCE JONES could be in for more minutes as the Rockets look for the right role players . . . OMRI CASSPI might be getting his last chance at the NBA. CENTERS: DWIGHT HOWARD should be much happier in Houston, though the Rockets still have to convince him that he can dominate as a pick-and-roll player. He should make everyone forget about his season with the Lakers . . . The fact is OMER ASIK just doesn't fit alongside Howard. But if he stays somewhat happy in Houston, he could be a valuable second-unit player . . . MARCUS CAMBY has latched on to chase a ring.|
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO BASKETBALL PREVIEW (SAN ANTONIO-HOUSTON) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Spurs-Rockets Preview* =======================
By JOHN KOSIK STATS Editor
San Antonio (62-18) at Houston (53-27), 8:00 p.m. EDT
While the San Antonio Spurs have secured home-court advantage throughout the NBA playoffs, things remain up in the air for the Houston Rockets.
The Rockets will try to lock up the No. 4 seed in the West and home-court advantage in the first round of the postseason with a victory over the Spurs on Monday night.
Following fifth-place Portland's 119-117 overtime win over Golden State on Sunday night, Houston (53-27) sits just a half-game ahead of the Trail Blazers (53-28) heading into its final two games of the regular season.
The Rockets and Blazers are assured of facing each other in the opening round, and the only thing left to be determined is where the series will begin.
A victory over San Antonio would settle things since the Rockets won the season series with Portland 3-1 to claim a potential tiebreaker. Houston concludes the regular season Wednesday at New Orleans, while the Blazers host the Los Angeles Clippers.
Two losses and another win by the Trail Blazers will send Game 1 to Portland.
Closing their recent three-game road trip with a pair of losses put Houston's chances of opening the playoffs at home in serious jeopardy. Portland has been on a roll with eight victories in nine games while the Rockets dropped five of their previous nine.
However, they returned home Saturday with a crucial 111-104 win over the Pelicans.
"We needed this win more than anything," said James Harden, who had 33 points and 13 assists for Houston, which trailed by 10 entering the fourth quarter.
The Rockets were given a boost by the returns of Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverley, who both missed the previous eight games with injuries. Beverley had 20 points in 33 minutes and Howard played 29 and scored 13.
"They both said they were feeling fine and wanted to win the game and we needed that win," coach Kevin McHale said.
Houston may face a juggled lineup against the Spurs (62-18) if coach Gregg Popovich decides to rest his aging trio of stars over the final two games. Tim Duncan is 37, Manu Ginobili 36 and Tony Parker 31, and Popovich will want fresh legs for the postseason.
Duncan and Ginobili, however, already sat out a 112-104 victory over Phoenix on Friday and will have had four days of rest since the last time they played.
Even if they do sit again, the Spurs' deep rotation is nothing to overlook. Danny Green scored 33 points against the Suns and Kawhi Leonard added 18. Throw in solid role players like Marco Belinelli, Boris Diaw and Tiago Splitter and San Antonio still poses a challenge without its longtime big three.
The victory over Phoenix gave the Spurs home-court advantage throughout the postseason and was their 15th straight at home. They are 32-8 this season in San Antonio.
"It's a big plus," Green said. "It's not something we were focused on, but we know it will help us. We'll be at home for most of the playoffs. The biggest thing for us is to stay healthy and to build chemistry. Winning games in the process helps and we get home-court advantage. That's just the extra bonus for us."
San Antonio hosts the Los Angeles Lakers in its regular season finale Wednesday.
The Rockets, who won the first three meetings with San Antonio, have a chance to pull off a rare sweep in the season series. It hasn't happened since Hall of Fame centers Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson were battling in the middle in 1992-93.
Houston's season series win against the Spurs is also its first since '96-97.
|Last Updated: 12/20/2014 8:58:59 AM EST|