A night after having their six-game winning streak snapped, the Atlanta Hawks look to get back on track against the home-standing Houston Rockets. Atlanta has defeated the Rockets in the teams’ previous three meetings.
Houston comes in to tonight’s tilt having won four of their last six. However, the Rockets dropped a 110-108 road defeat to the lowly New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday. Ranked 26th in the league in points allowed (105) Houston gave up 63 first-half points, while being lit up by the tandem of Anthony Davis (24) and Eric Gordon (26).
The Rockets’ leading scorer, James Harden (28.4), netted 24 on 8-of-21 shooting from the field. The league’s third-leading rebounder Dwight Howard was held to nine boards and seven points in Houston’s two-point loss.
The Rockets are currently seventh in the west at 16-16. Houston’s Christmas day win over mighty San Antonio (27-6) followed by a loss to woeful New Orleans (10-21) has exemplified the team’s streaky season.
For Atlanta, Tuesday night’s tussle will be the second of back-to-back contests. The Hawks didn’t fare well on Monday opposite the Indiana Pacers. Atlanta committed 20 turnovers and was outscored 31-13 in the second period of a 93-87 set back.
Paul Millsap was Atlanta’s lone bright spot opposite Indiana. The two-time All Star posted a terrific stat-line of 24 points, seven rebounds, four steals and two assists. Jeff Teague made good on 11 of his season-high 14 free throw attempts, to score 18 points.
The 20-13 Hawks are currently second in a tightly-contested Eastern Conference. Just two games separate the second-place Hawks from tenth-place Detroit (17-14).
Injury report and probable starting lineups
Atlanta: Tiago Splitter (right calf strain). Houston: Sam Dekker (lower back)
- Point Guard: Jeff Teague
- Shooting Guard: Kyle Korver
- Small Forward: Kent Bazemore
- Power Forward: Paul Millsap
- Center: Al Horford
- Point Guard: Patrick Beverley
- Shooting Guard: James Harden
- Small Forward: Trevor Ariza
- Power Forward: Clint Capella
- Center: Dwight Howard
Hawks’ keys to victory
-Make Harden uncomfortable.
-Keep a body on Howard under the boards.
-Limit the 3-point shooting of Houston’s role players.
Atlanta vs Houston will be broadcast live, regionally on Fox Sports Southeast at 8 PM ET.