Two of the West’s top contenders face off Wednesday when the Golden State Warriors (45-21) visit the hot Houston Rockets (42-25).
As many expected, the Rockets find themselves near the top of the Western Conference with playoff basketball just around the corner. The Rockets have not always had this favorable positioning in the standings. Houston started the season slow, starting the campaign going 11-14. Eventually, Rockets kicked it in gear, mainly behind the play of their two stars, James Harden and Clint Capela. Both players have absolutely stuffed the stat-sheet this season. Harden is leading the Rockets and the NBA in scoring, averaging 36.2 points per game. Capela has been Harden’s pick-and-roll partner this season, offering a physically imposing threat on the offensive end. Capela has been a beast on the boards as well, grabbing 12.5 rebounds per game so far this season, enough to rank him sixth in the NBA in rebounding. The duo gets in done on defense to. Harden is ranked second in the NBA for steals, averaging 2.1 steals a game, while Capela has blocked 1.6 shots a game, putting him in the top 15 in that category. Expect these two to be heavily involved on Wednesday night. Capela has thrived against Golden State this season, averaging 15.7 points and 15.3 rebounds in three meetings this season. Harden is no exception to performing well against the Warriors. He has averaging 35.5 points and 9.0 assists per game against the Warriors this season. Expect more fireworks on Wednesday when the two most exciting teams from the west collide.
The Houston Rockets are in fine form ahead of their clash with Golden State. Houston has won nine games in a row, with big wins over the Warriors, 76ers, and Celtics during the streak. The Rockets are 9-1 in their last 10 games, representing the hottest team in the NBA. Houston has been tough to beat at home this season, registering a 24-9 home record. The Rockets are 5-0 in their last five home games.
Houston Rockets Expected Starting Lineup
Chris Paul, James Harden, Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker, Clint Capela
Houston Rockets Home NBA Form
|11.03.2019||WIN||Hornets 106 – 118 Houston Rockets|
|08.03.2019||WIN||76ers 91 – 107 Houston Rockets|
|28.02.2019||WIN||Heat 118 – 121 Houston Rockets|
|25.02.2019||WIN||Hawks 111 – 119 Houston Rockets|
|11.02.2019||WIN||Mavericks 104 – 120 Houston Rockets|
Golden State Warriors
Golden State will have to play their biggest rivals in the West without superstar Kevin Durant. Durant is expected to miss 2-3 games with an ankle injury, paving the way for small forward Alfonzo McKinnie to get his fourth start of the season. Durant’s absence will put more scoring responsibility on Steph Curry, who has struggled as of late. Curry is scoring well below his season average of 27.9 ppg in the month of March so far, as the guard is putting up just 21.5 points per game this month. Curry has scored in the teens in each of his last two games, shooting 8-25 from three point range in those games. With the Rockets on the scheduled next, look for Steph to break his slump against Houston. Curry has averaged 30.0 points in his two games against the Rockets so far, and will be expected to carry his squad on Wednesday when these two Western Conference heavyweight contenders meet.
The Warriors have been on a poor run of form as of late. Golden State are 4-6 in their last 10 games, and are fresh off of an embarrassing loss to the 16-win Suns. Golden State has been a solid road team this season, going 21-11 so far. In their last five games away from home, the Warriors have posted a 2-3 record.
Golden State Warriors Expected Starting Lineup
Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Alfonzo McKinnie, Draymond Green, DeMarcus Cousins
Golden State Warriors Away NBA Form
|02.03.2019||WIN||Golden State Warriors 120 – 117 76ers|
|28.02.2019||LOSS||Golden State Warriors 96 – 103 Magic|
|27.02.2019||LOSS||Golden State Warriors 125 – 126 Heat|
|25.02.2019||WIN||Golden State Warriors 121 – 110 Hornets|
|13.02.2019||LOSS||Golden State Warriors 107 – 129 Trail Blazers|
The Money Line
Here are how the odds to win the match look from the bookies ahead of the game.
Odds taken at 08:00 GMT 13/03/2019
- The Houston Rockets have won nine games in a row
- The Golden State Warriors have trailed at the end of the first quarter in five of their last seven fights
- The Rockets have won the last three games against the Warriors
Our Verdict and Best Bets
The fourth and final meeting between these two powerhouses is the last chance for the Warriors to win a game in this matchup this season. The Rockets have dominated the Warriors this season, going 3-0 against Golden State. These games between the Rockets and Warriors are typically high scoring affairs, with the last two games averaging a point total of 249.5 per game. Expect a motivated home performance from the Warriors, who will want to avoid a regular season sweeping by the Rockets. In addition, this game is projected to go over the 230.5 mark set by most bookmakers.