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Preview: Phoenix Suns travel to Houston to face James Harden and the Rockets

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Details

What: Phoenix Suns vs. Houston Rockets

Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas

When: 5:00PM MST

TV: FoxSports Arizona, NBA League Pass

Radio: ArizonaSports 98.7 FM


The Rockets

Despite suffering a spate of injuries, the Houston Rockets just keep winning.  Having James Harden on your team will do that for you.  Despite losing Dwight Howard to a knee injury 6 weeks ago, the Rockets haven't seen their winning percentage drop off at all.  They are 13-6 over that stretch and bring a 3-game winning streak into tonight's contest.

The Rocket's game plan will likely be this: James Harden, James Harden, and some more James Harden.  Harden is averaging 36.8 minutes per game, trailing only Jimmy Butler and Kyrie Irving for most minutes in the NBA.  In addition to Howard, the Rockets will also be without Terence Jones (rib injury), while starting point guard Patrick Beverley is listed as questionable (elbow), thought expected to start.  According to Jenny Creech of the Houston Chronicle, Trevor Ariza stayed home sick from today's shootaround and is questionable to play.

Phoenix can't expect to shut down Harden, but given how thin Houston is right now, slowing him down might be enough to give them a chance to steal this one.

For more the Houston Rockets, check out our brother site, The Dream Shake.

The Suns

Eric Bledsoe and the Phoenix Suns come into tonight's game with a (albeit small) winning streak of their own despite contending with injuries to starters of their own.  Alex Len and Brandon Knight are still listed as questionable and not expected to play tonight.

Phoenix will need to play much better than they have lately to take advantage of the banged up Rockets.  Making more than two #!%@ing 3-pointers would go a long way towards helping their cause.  As Paul Coro reports, over the last 13 games, the Phoenix Suns have the worst 3-poing percentage in the NBA.

Against New Orleans, Phoenix was able to scrap out one of the ugliest wins in franchise history.  While that kind of effort is impressive and necessary when the shots aren't falling, the shots need to actually fall against teams like the Rockets.

Prediction

Something's gotta give and I think it's the bottom of the net.  The shots finally fall and Phoenix avoids being swept by Rockets in the season series.  Suns 103, Rockets 101.