NBA Basketball

Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Phoenix 31 21 26 31 109
Houston 23 37 23 32 115
5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 PM CT23:00 , December 7, 2019
Toyota Center, Houston, Texas  Attendance: 18,055

Harden, Westbrook look to fuel Rockets past Suns

According to STATS
According to STATS

Phoenix Suns at Houston Rockets

  1. The Suns recorded 30 assists in their 139-132 (OT) win over the Pelicans on Thursday. Phoenix is 7-2 this season when recording at least 30 assists, and its nine games with 30+ assists are the most in the NBA entering games on Friday.
  2. Devin Booker led the Suns with 44 points in their win over the Pelicans. It was the 11th 40-point game of Booker's career; the only Sun all-time with more 40-point games is Amar'e Stoudemire (15).
  3. The Rockets shot 40.0 percent from three (22-for-55) in their 119-109 win at Toronto on Thursday. Houston is 8-0 this season when making at least 17 three-pointers, and 7-0 when making at least 37.0 percent of its three-point attempts.
  4. Russell Westbrook has recorded a triple-double in each of his last two games to bring his season total to five. Westbrook, however, is shooting just 33.6 percent from the field and 19.4 percent from three-point range in his five triple-doubles this season.
  5. James Harden reached 100 made three-pointers on the season last game in Houston's 21st game of the season. The only player all-time to reach 100 threes in a season in fewer team games was Stephen Curry (20) in the 2015-16 season.
  6. The Rockets have won 11 consecutive games against the Suns, tied for the longest active win streak by any team against a single opponent. During the streak, Houston has outscored Phoenix by an average of 15.7 points per game.

James Harden and Russell Westbrook look for continued brilliance against the Phoenix Suns, this time as teammates, when the Houston Rockets open a two-game homestand on Saturday night.

The Rockets have beaten the Suns on 11 straight occasions, including three times last season. Harden had 30 or more points in each of those games in 2018-19.

The league's leading scorer has feasted upon Phoenix in recent years, pouring in 40 or more points against them six times, all since April 2012.

Over that period of time, there have been a total of just 20 other 40-point explosions against the Suns. Four of those 20 were authored by Westbrook, then of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Suns haven't seen Harden and Westbrook as teammates, but the first-year backcourt combination has worked well, leading Houston to a 14-7 record after a 119-109 road win over the defending-champion Toronto Raptors on Thursday night

Harden was limited to 23 points by the Raptors, but Westbrook came through with a triple-double featuring 19 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.

Neither was the Rockets' leading scorer in the impressive win. That honor went to Ben McLemore, who recorded a career-high eight 3-pointers to highlight a 28-point performance.

"James is more than happy to just draw the double team," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni told reporters. "Other than Russ and James, we took (44) 3s and made 19 of them. That's what you got to do -- wide-open 3s and just knock them down."

Harden did more than just score in last year's three-game sweep of the Suns. He complemented 41 points in the second meeting with 11 assists, and found time for 13 rebounds to go with 30 points in the third contest.

Westbrook's history against the Suns includes a triple-double in October 2016 that was headlined by 51 points.

The Rockets have won three of four, with the only loss being the controversial overtime defeat at San Antonio that Houston has protested over a disallowed Harden dunk in the fourth quarter. Houston has averaged 128.2 points in its last six games.

The Suns, meanwhile, have allowed an average of 123.3 in their last six. But they've squeezed a pair of wins into the half-dozen, including a 139-132 overtime triumph at New Orleans on Thursday.

Devin Booker warmed up for his duel with Harden with a season-best 44 points against the Pelicans. It was his second game with 40 or more this year.

He hasn't had the same measure of success against the Rockets that Harden has enjoyed versus the Suns. Booker, however, did counter his rival last season with 19- and 29-point games.

The win at New Orleans gives the Suns a chance to finish a four-game trip, one that began with a victory at Charlotte, with a winning record. But that would require ending a six-game losing streak at Houston that dates back to April 2016.

"This is a really big win and now we have a next tough game," Suns forward Dario Saric told reporters. "If we can do some great things (at Houston), it'll be a great trip for us."

--Field Level Media

Updated December 6, 2019

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