NBA Basketball

98
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Brooklyn 20 34 25 19 98
Houston 42 21 25 20 108
108
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 28, 2019
Toyota Center, Houston, Texas  Attendance: 18,306

Rockets look for solace in home-court edge vs. Nets

According to STATS
According to STATS

Brooklyn Nets at Houston Rockets

  1. Brooklyn and Houston meet for the second and final time of the season, with the Nets having won the Nov. 1 meeting 123-116. Brooklyn shot 59.4 percent (19-for-32) from behind the arc in that game, its best three-point shooting since making 64.3 percent (18-for-28) against the Kings on Feb. 5, 2016.
  2. The Rockets return home for the first time since Dec. 16 after a 3-1 road trip. In December, Houston is 6-2 on the road and has shot the three at a 39.4-percent clip. At home this month, the Rockets are 2-2 with just 29.2-percent three-point shooting.
  3. The Nets made just 21 field goals in their 94-82 loss to the Knicks on Thursday, and 13 of them were three-pointers. Eight made two-point field goals is the fewest an NBA team has had in a game in the last 35 seasons.
  4. James Harden and Russell Westbrook were a combined 20-for-50 in Houston's 116-104 Christmas Day loss to the Warriors. Harden and Westbrook are averaging 45.4 field goal attempts per game, on pace for more than any teammate duo since Lou Hudson and Pete Maravich of the 1972-73 Hawks (also 45.4).
  5. Taurean Prince recorded season highs with 27 points, 12 rebounds and six made three-pointers in the Nets' previous meeting with the Rockets this season. Prince is averaging 17.4 points in five career games against Houston, his most against any team he has played more than twice.
  6. The Rockets are 12-0 -- the NBA's only undefeated team this season -- when shooting 35.0 percent or better from behind the arc. Houston is 9-10 when shooting worse than 35.0 percent on three-pointers.

Disappointment comes in many forms, and on Saturday at Toyota Center, both the Brooklyn Nets and Houston Rockets will seek to distance themselves from efforts best described as poor.

The Nets on Thursday fumbled the momentum of winning three of their previous four games by shooting a miserable 26.9 percent, the worst mark in the league this season, in their 94-82 home loss to the crosstown Knicks at Barclays Center.

According to Elias Sports, the Nets' eight 2-point field goals were the fewest in an NBA game since 1950. Yet, Brooklyn shot better inside the arc (8 of 28) than from behind it, missing 37 of 50 attempts from deep in the opener of a three-game road trip that includes stops in Minnesota and Dallas.

Three Brooklyn players attempted at least 10 shots while making three or fewer: Joe Harris (3 for 12), Garrett Temple (2 for 10) and Taurean Prince (1 for 10). Excluding his 25-point performance on 10-for-19 shooting against Atlanta on Dec. 21, Temple is 6 for 36 over his three previous contests. Prince is shooting 25 percent (23 for 92) over his previous eight games.

"Those guys will get it back," Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. "It's like a baseball player: Sometimes you go five or six games and you're swinging. I trust those guys, I trust how they shoot. We're going through a bad stretch right now, but we've had other guys pick them up.

"It can't be those guys every night, but we had a lot of guys off. Just collectively we were off. I don't think anybody was in rhythm, including myself."

The Rockets' shooting was similarly errant on Christmas, with everyone excluding James Harden combining to miss 54 of 82 shot attempts in a stunning 116-104 loss to the injury-ravaged Warriors. The non-Harden Rockets also hit just 10 of 41 on 3s to surrender the positive momentum generated by a stretch of six wins in seven games that included an impressive road victory over the Los Angeles Clippers the previous Thursday.

"A lot of great opportunities that we just didn't convert on," Harden said. "It's pretty simple."

That was a similar refrain for the Rockets, who can intermittently resemble title contenders while also dropping four consecutive games to teams with losing records. The Warriors took a familiar approach defending Harden, trapping him far away from the basket with the intention of forcing his teammates to step up in his stead. In this instance, that gambit worked to perfection.

"Good luck, though, trying to do that," said Rockets guard Russell Westbrook, who shot 11 for 32.

Blanching at the suggestion they were outwitted is a common response from these Rockets, whose inconsistency is as much a calling card as their commitment to 3-pointers and layups. Presented an opportunity to complete a 4-0 road trip and head back to Toyota Center with an air of legitimacy enveloping them, the Rockets instead stubbed their toes and sought solutions.

The result in San Francisco was disappointing. In Houston, the Rockets will seek solace.

"For us, we've got to regroup, and we finally go home," Harden said. "We've been on the road for a week. Finally, go home and get some home-court (advantage)."

--Field Level Media

Updated December 27, 2019

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