9:30 PM ET, November 7, 2013
Toyota Center, Houston, TX
The Houston Rockets have received all the help they can get from the duo of James Harden and Dwight Howard.
The Los Angeles Lakers wanted something similar to happen to them after acquiring Howard before last NBAseason, but things didn’t work out that way.
Tonight Howard will face the L.A. team for the first time since leaving via free agency in July when the high-scoring Houston team tries to impress YouWager bettors withe their best start in six years.
After one disappointing, injury-plagued season in Los Angeles, the 27 year-old center has teamed up with Harden to give the Rockets (4-1) one of the most talented duos in the league.
Even while being paired with 15-time All-Star Kobe Bryant, that never happened with Los Angeles (2-3) in 2012. Howard and Bryant never clicked during a 45-37 season that ended with a first-round playoff defeat versus the San Antonio Spurs after Bryant tore his Achilles on April 12.
Harden finished with a game-high 33 points and Howard added a season-best 29 points and 13 rebounds as Houston continued their strong start with a 116-101 win versus the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday.
According to the NBA live lines, Howard’s numbers are up slightly at 17.4 points and 14.6 rebounds per game, and with him patrolling the paint Houston’s rank second in the NBA with a plus-10.2 rebounding margin after finishing at plus-1.8 in 2012-13.
The Lakers, which hardly resemble the team Howard played for last season, ranks near the bottom of the league in opponent field-goal percentage (47.9), scoring (109.0) and turnovers (13.6) per game.
Following a 123-104 defeat versus the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, Los Angeles has dropped their two road games by a combined 50 points.
Paul Gasol is currently averaging a team-best 14.6 points and 10.4 rebounds, but was limited to a season-low 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting by Dallas.