The Lone Star state is home to three NBA teams and surprisingly neither of these two teams own the best record. The Spurs and Rockets are struggling below .500 with Houston’s demise the real shock.
The Rockets languish in 14th place in the Western Conference at 9-11 and look a shadow of last year’s team who led the league with 65 wins. The health of stars James Harden and Chris Paul has been a big factor but the defensive struggles have been the story of the season, holding opponents under 100 points just four times this season. One of those occasions was their first matchup with the Spurs but it was a 96-89 loss with Harden Paul both suited up.
Chris Paul will be missing from this contest once again as the Rockets look to snap their four-game skid. The Spurs have lost four of their last six to drop below .500 once again with their most recent game of their four-game road stretch a 128-89 rout at the hands of the Timberwolves were they were held below 40% shooting from the floor.
Hard to see the Rockets turning their form around against a Gregg Popovich led team at home coming off such a blowout loss.
The Nuggets come into this contest sitting in 3rd position in the Western Conference, a position their opponents finished in last season before being swept by the Pelicans in the first round. The Nuggets missed the playoff last season with just three wins less (46) than the Blazers, highlighting the evenness of the west is and how important games like this are in deciding playoff positions.
With the Warriors’ early struggles and the Rockets demise, the Western Conference seems wide open with these two clubs knocking on the door to be the heir apparent.
Jamal Murray leads the Nuggets in scoring at 17.5 PPG outlining the balanced scoring they’ve been getting from their starting five and come into this contest riding a four-game win streak. The Blazers snapped a three-game skid with a 115-112 home win over the Magic where Damian Lillard sunk a franchise-record 10 three-pointers on his way to 40 points.