NBA Basketball
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112
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Memphis 17 30 41 24 112
Houston 35 38 38 29 140
140
5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 PM CT0:00 , February 26, 2020
Toyota Center, Houston, Texas  Attendance: 18,055

Harden, Rockets aim to stay strong vs. Grizzlies

According to STATS
According to STATS

Memphis Grizzlies at Houston Rockets

  1. The Rockets have scored at least 100 points in 65 consecutive home games, the longest active streak in the NBA. It's the second-longest streak in franchise history, trailing a streak of 100 straight home games scoring 100+ points from January 4, 1969 -- March 21, 1971.
  2. Memphis ranks last in the NBA in three-point percentage (28.3%) and three-pointers made per game (6.8) in the month of February. The Grizzlies have made five or fewer threes in a game four times in February -- the rest of the NBA has five such games combined this month.
  3. James Harden has scored at least 40 points in five consecutive games against the Grizzlies. Harden has six career 40-point games against Memphis -- the only other player all-time with more 40-point games against the Grizzlies is Kobe Bryant (seven). The last player with six straight 40-point games against a single opponent was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar against the Celtics from 1970-71.
  4. Ja Morant set a career low with one assist in the Grizzlies' 124-97 loss to the Clippers on Monday. Memphis is 13-19 this season when Morant has fewer than eight assists, compared to 14-5 when he records eight or more assists -- the team is 1-5 in the games Morant has missed.
  5. Over his last five games, Robert Covington has made 16 threes and recorded 16 blocks. The only other player in NBA history with at least 16 threes and 16 blocks over any five-game span is Kevin Durant, who did so spanning the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons -- no other player has ever done it in a single season.
  6. The Rockets and the Grizzlies have split a pair of games this season, both played in Memphis. Houston has won three straight home games against Memphis, winning by an average of 15.0 points per game.
(AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

Houston Rockets guard James Harden looked both physically and emotionally spent following an extended road trip that started at the All-Star Game in Chicago and continued with Monday's public memorial service honoring Lakers legend Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles.

Harden arrived at Toyota Center in time to torch the New York Knicks for 37 points and nine assists in a 123-112 victory Monday night.

The Rockets, winners in eight of 10 games, will host the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday while seeking to continue their climb up the Western Conference standings. Emboldened by its success following a shift to playing small at the trade deadline, Houston has its sights set on something greater than home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

"We've got to win as many (games) as we can," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said. "With 25 left, we've got to get a bunch of them because we do want to come in second place. That's doable but it will take some big wins. We've got some hard games coming up.

"The main thing is just to play well. We're playing well. I like what we're doing."

Following the Grizzlies, the Rockets (37-20) will face the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers during a two-week stretch. Significant challenges to be sure, but Houston has found a rhythm in recent weeks, one that was not disrupted by guard Russell Westbrook sitting against the Knicks with thumb soreness. Without Westbrook, the Rockets found complementary scoring elsewhere in support of another strong showing from Harden.

In the aftermath of Ben McLemore (17 points), Eric Gordon (16) and Austin Rivers (14) all scoring in double figures, the Rockets were questioned about their ample depth. For Rivers, the multitude of offensive options serves the bottom line that D'Antoni made clear.

"It's about getting that third or second seed," Rivers said.

Adversity has found the Grizzlies, who have dropped the first three games of a four-game road trip that will conclude in Houston. Already down second-year forward Jaren Jackson Jr., who's sidelined for a minimum of two weeks with a left knee sprain, the Grizzlies lost his replacement, rookie Brandon Clarke, when Clarke succumbed to hip soreness after logging just three minutes in a blowout loss to the Clippers on Monday.

Without Jackson and Clarke, Memphis relied on a smaller lineup that might have been a preview of how it will match up against Houston.

The Grizzlies (28-29) have lost three games in a row for the first time since early December.

Memphis roared into playoff contention by winning 15 of 19 games entering the All-Star break, but Jackson is the Grizzlies' second-leading scorer, and his absence leaves them vulnerable.

The Grizzlies entered Tuesday in eighth place in the West, three games ahead of Portland in the loss column. But the Trail Blazers remain dangerous, and the New Orleans Pelicans, energized by the return of rookie forward Zion Williamson, look to be the wildest of wild cards.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 26, 2020

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