Harden and the Rockets face the Spurs
San Antonio Spurs (42-30, sixth in the Western Conference) vs. Houston Rockets (45-27, third in the Western Conference)
Houston; Friday, 8 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: James Harden leads Houston into a matchup with San Antonio. He’s first in the NBA scoring 36.1 points per game.
The Rockets are 25-19 in conference games. Houston averages 13.6 turnovers per game and is 29-15 when they win the turnover battle.
The Spurs are 9-5 against opponents from the Southwest Division. San Antonio averages 12.1 turnovers per game and is 28-10 when turning the ball over less than opponents. The Rockets won 108-101 in the last matchup between these two teams on Dec. 22. Harden led Houston with 39 points and DeMar DeRozan led San Antonio with 28 points.
TOP PERFORMERS: Harden is scoring 36.1 points per game and averaging 6.5 rebounds for the Rockets. Clint Capela is shooting 69.4 percent and averaging 15.8 points over the last 10 games for Houston.
DeRozan leads the Spurs averaging 21.5 points and is adding 6.3 rebounds. LaMarcus Aldridge has averaged 9.5 rebounds and added 23.2 points per game over the last 10 games for San Antonio.
LAST 10 GAMES: Spurs: 9-1, averaging 110.2 points, 46.1 rebounds, 24.1 assists, 6.1 steals and 5.9 blocks per game while shooting 49.0 percent from the field. Their opponents have averaged 102.2 points on 43.3 percent shooting.
Rockets: 8-2, averaging 111.6 points, 41.7 rebounds, 22.1 assists, 9.7 steals and 3.6 blocks per game while shooting 45.2 percent from the field. Their opponents have averaged 103 points on 43.6 percent shooting.
Rockets Injuries: Isaiah Hartenstein: out (achilles), Kenneth Faried: day to day (knee).
Spurs Injuries: Dejounte Murray: out for season (knee).