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, TNTABOUT 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.BUZZER BEATERS
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