Jeremy Lin, Harden's Rockets vs. Paul George and Pacers; TV Schedule, Preview, Matchups, Live Stream and Score
The Houston Rockets (39-31) have a tough stretch ahead of them in the days ahead, but a few injuries to the Indiana Pacers (44-27) could do them huge favors heading into Wednesday's match-up.
The Rockets are on a roll, having beaten Western Conference leader San Antonio Sunday in a nail-biter and having won seven of their last 10 games in a red-hot March as the Rockets look to grab the sixth seed from the Golden State Warriors. The task doesn't get any easier Wednesday for the Rockets, owners of the league's best offense, against the Pacers, whom allow the fewest points of any team in the league (only 89.6 points allowed).
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However, the Central Division-leading Pacers are short a few key players after being riddled with injuries. Those injuries include George Hill (strained left groin), David West (sprained lower back), Lance Stephenson (strained right hip flexor) and All-Star Paul George (finger)--four of their starting five.
The Pacers beat Houston 105-95 on Jan.18, but as they head to Houston, they have lost three of their last four games as they prepare to run into a Rockets squad that is starting to clamp down on defense in the last seven games at home, holding opponents to 92.5 points during that stretch.
Latinos Post breaks down the key match-ups for tonight's game:
Power forward: Tyler Hansbrough, Pacers vs. Donetas Motiejunas, Rockets
West's status is still questionable for the game due to his back injury, leaving Hansbrough, who has stepped up with 14.6 and 10.8 rebounds in the five games that West has been out, to deal with Motiejunas, who has been getting steadier with back-to-back 10-point games on offense.
Small forward: Paul George vs. Chandler Parsons, Rockets
George, arguably the team's best player, has been shaking off the effects of a finger injury to produce steadily on offense, but he looked a little off on Monday against the Hawks, where he shot 6-for-13 with only 13 points. Still, George's presence will be big. Parsons is coming off a huge night where he scored 20 points against San Antonio, and appears to be breaking out of a mini-slump over the last four games on offense.
Center: Roy Hibbert, Pacers vs. Omer Asik, Rockets
Hibbert has been getting strong offensively lately, piling on 18-and 17- point games in the last two contests. Coupled with his rebounding and shot-blocking prowess and that makes Hibbert as lethal as ever. Asik hasn't been as consistent on offense lately, but is still rebounding very steadily for the Rockets.
Shooting Guard: Gerald Green, Pacers vs. James Harden, Rockets
With Stephenson dealing with his hip injury, Green has stepped in to be effective on offense, scoring 19 points on Monday against Atlanta. However, he will have his hands full against the dangerous Harden, who is scoring 27.2 points over the last five games and continues his impressive pace.
Point Guard: DJ Augustin, Pacers vs. Jeremy Lin, Rockets
This may be a match-up the Rockets can exploit. Hill sat out Monday in favor of Augustine, who is an effective enough passer, but lacks offensive punch. With the exception of the last two games, Lin has been all fired up this March, where he is averaging a season-best 14.7 points on offense. If Lin can recapture the fire on offense he was showing in the three 20-plus point games he had before facing the Cavs last Friday, Houston's backcourt could end up smoking the injury-riddled Pacers.
TV Schedule, Live Score
Game time starts at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. CST on CSN Houston and Fox Sports Indiana. Live score is available via TV Companion, here.
Live Streaming for the Game is can be seen via NBA League Pass. (Service Provider Required)