Indianapolis Star
National Basketball Association
Houston at Portland
When: 10:30 PM ET, Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Where: Moda Center, Portland, Oregon

Two of the hotter teams in the NBA get together for an expected shootout when the NBA-best Houston Rockets visit the streaking Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday. Houston has won five straight games and 26 of its last 28 while the Trail Blazers have ripped off 13 straight triumphs.

Portland matched the second-best winning streak in franchise history with Sunday's 122-109 win over the Los Angeles Clippers and is three victories away from the club record set during the 1990-91 campaign. "You get ready for the next game. You don't want to get comfortable," Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts told reporters after Sunday's win. "I think that's been one of our strengths as a team, coaches and players. We understand what time of year it is, and what has to be done, and that's been the priority." Houston defeated the New Orleans Pelicans and Minnesota Timberwolves to begin a three-game road trip and Sunday's victory over Minnesota surpassed last season's win total of 55. The Rockets are two wins shy of the franchise victory mark set by the Hakeem Olajuwon-led 1993-94 squad, which won the first of back-to-back NBA titles.

10:30 p.m. ET, TNT

ABOUT THE ROCKETS (56-14): All-Star guard James Harden scored 48 points in a victory over Portland earlier this season and tallied 30 or more in 10 of his last 12 appearances against the Trail Blazers. Harden is averaging 33 points and 10 assists in the first two games of the road trip and topped 20 points in 18 of his past 19 outings. Point guard Chris Paul is averaging 31.5 points in two meetings against Portland this season, including 37 to go with 11 assists in a 121-112 victory on Jan. 10, when Harden was sidelined with a hamstring injury.

ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (44-26): Small forward Maurice Harkless has suddenly gone on a hot streak and is averaging 16 points on 18-of-27 shooting over the past three games after scoring 21 on 8-of-11 shooting against the Clippers. "My teammates were just finding me," Harkless explained to reporters. "I was being aggressive when I had opportunities, my teammates were finding me and I was just making shots." All-Star point guard Damian Lillard, who is averaging 30.5 points in his last four games against Houston, scored 23 points on Sunday to match his career best of 15 consecutive 20-point outings.


1. The Rockets are 2-0 against the Trail Blazers this season and won five of the past six meetings.

2. Houston backup SG Eric Gordon scored five or fewer points in three of the last four games - he made seven 3-pointers and scored 23 points in the other outing.

3. Stotts (267 wins) became the third-winningest coach in franchise history with Sunday's victory, snapping a tie with Nate McMillan (2006-12), the coach he replaced.

PREDICTION: Trail Blazers 125, Rockets 122
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Houston 56-14 W5 27-6 29-8 1-0 55-14 11-3 36-8
Portland 44-26 W13 25-11 19-15 1-1 43-25 7-6 26-15
Last Meeting
Houston Portland
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
1/10/18 POR 112 HOU 121 121 49 45.0 112 40 48.2
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Houston C. Paul 37 44.8 8
Portland D. Lillard 29 56.2 10
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Houston C. Capela 9 5 4
Portland E. Davis 10 2 8
Assists Player  
Houston C. Paul 11
Portland D. Lillard 8
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Houston J. Harden 2005 44.7 566
Portland D. Lillard 1745 44.2 430
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Houston C. Capela 736 221 515
Portland J. Nurkic 592 154 438
Assists Player  
Houston J. Harden 573
Portland D. Lillard 426
Quickchart Matchup
Houston Houston Off vs  Portland Portland Defense
Houston Off vs Portland - Points For 113.6 Points For
Houston Off vs Portland - Points Against 103.0 Points Against
Houston - FG% 46.3 FG%
Portland - FG% 44.6 FG%
Houston - Reb 43.4 Reb
Portland - Reb 42.7 Reb
Portland Portland Off vs  Houston Houston Defense
Portland Off vs Houston - Points For 106.0 Points For
Portland Off vs Houston - Points Against 104.7 Points Against
Portland - FG% 45.3 FG%
Houston - FG% 46.5 FG%
Portland - Reb 45.4 Reb
Houston - Reb 41.2 Reb