The Nuggets travel to Houston to battle the Rockets, who have lost five of their last six games, including four straight contests.
Denver Nuggets (30-13) vs. Houston Rockets (26-16)
Wednesday, January 22 at 8:00 PM ET, Toyota Center
Harden Shooting Poorly
The Rockets were outscored 41-20 in the 4th quarter against the Thunder and lost 112-107 in Houston last Monday. James Harden finished with 29 points but on 9 of 29 shooting and 1 of 17 from beyond the arc. His 16 misses are tied for the most missed 3-pointers in a game in NBA history.
Harden went back on the court after the game to work on his shot. He is now 9-for-51 from distance during the team’s four-game losing streak. It was the 10th game of his career with more than 15 3-pointers on 20 percent or worse accuracy (including the playoffs).
Westbrook Stepping Up Lately
Russell Westbrook has played effectively and efficiently in his last five games. Westbrook is shooting 55.9 percent from the field in that span and he been destroying opponents. For example:
– 34 points, five assists and two rebounds on January 9 against the Thunder
– 30 points, 10 assists and six rebounds on January 11 against the Timberwolves
– 31 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds on January 15 against the Trail Blazers
– 35 points, nine rebounds and seven assists on January 18 against the Lakers
– 32 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds on January 20 against the Thunder. With this triple-double he joined LeBron James as the only players in NBA history with a triple-double against all 30 teams.
Michael Porter Jr. Putting Up Big Numbers
Michael Porter Jr. is putting up big numbers for the Nuggets off the bench. He had a team-high 20 points on Tuesday’s 107-100 road win against the Timberwolves. He also added 14 rebounds, four assists and one block in 30 minutes. He was 7-for-12 from the field and 3-for-8 from 3-point range. He has two double-doubles in his last three games off the bench, being a true catalyst.
Jerami Grant, Will Barton, Nikola Jokic and Malik Beasley all scored in double figures as well and in addition to a balanced offense, the Nuggets also outrebounded the Timberwolves 53-42 and forced them to go 13-for-42 (31.0 percent) from distance. The Rockets are not shooting the ball well from beyond the arc, especially James Harden and winning the battle of the boards can help the Nuggets stay in the game.
Betting Trends and Prediction
The Denver Nuggets are:
5-2 ATS in their last seven games after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game
5-2 ATS in their last seven games when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game
4-1-1 ATS in their last six Wednesday games
3-1-1 ATS in their last five games as a road underdog
The Houston Rockets are:
0-6 ATS in their last six games after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game
0-4 ATS in their last four games when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game
0-4 ATS in their last four games overall
1-4 ATS in their last five games following an ATS loss
Harden will eventually get back on track, he is working extra hard for that. Even if he explodes on offense the rest of the team has to contribute and that hasn’t happened lately. Westbrook and Harden combined for 61 of the team’s 107 points against the Thunder. Their reserves scored 23 points combined and their other three starters also had 23 points between them.
The Nuggets are 4-1 in their last five games and they’re a deeper team than the Rockets. Michael Porter Jr. (plus-0.8 Offensive Box Plus/Minus) will be a difference-maker on Wednesday.