NEW ORLEANS HORNETS (3-11) at HOUSTON ROCKETS (7-7)

NEW ORLEANS HORNETS (3-11) at HOUSTON ROCKETS (7-7)



Things seem to keep getting worse for New Orleans.


2012-01-19

Tip-off: Thursday, 8:05 p.m. ET

Line: Houston -10, Total: 184



Houston has a golden opportunity to stretch its SU winning streak to five (and ATS win streak to eight) when it hosts New Orleans Thursday night.



Not only are the rebuilding Hornets traveling for a back-to-back after hosting Memphis on Wednesday, but they’re going to be without their best player, SG Eric Gordon (knee), for a ninth straight game. The Rockets are well-rested and have pounded teams at home this year, winning four of their six home games by 11 points or more. They’re 5-1 SU and 6-0 ATS at the Toyota Center. HOUSTON is the pick to win and cover the big spread.



The Rockets enter this game not only looking for their fifth SU win in a row, but also for their eight straight ATS win. They hammered Detroit at home on Tuesday, 97-80, despite having played in a game at Washington the night before.



Their inside-outside combo of PG Kyle Lowry (17.3 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 8.7 APG) and PF Luis Scola (15.7 PPG, 5.9 RPG) is already one of the most productive, yet underrated, duos in the NBA. And now Houston is starting to get big production from newly signed C Samuel Dalembert (8.4 PPG, 7.6 RPG), who is averaging 15.3 PPG on 69.2% shooting from the field, 11.8 RPG and 2.0 BPG over the past four contests. And while SG Kevin Martin (17.4 PPG) has been slumping on the road (15.5 PPG, 18.4% shooting from three), he’s averaging 20.0 PPG and hitting 40.0% of his threes at home.



Things seem to keep getting worse for New Orleans. Gordon was the closest thing they had to a franchise player after the Chris Paul trade, but he’s played in just two games this season.



They have played relatively well on the road, going 2-4 SU but 4-2 ATS. And the return of SF Trevor Ariza (11.2 PPG) for Wednesday night’s loss to Memphis at least provided a boost to their anemic offense (86.7 PPG, 3rd-worst in NBA). New Orleans has yet to hit the 100-point mark in a game this season, reaching 90 just five times in 14 games. After missing eight games with a groin injury, Ariza had 18 points on 7-for-13 shooting, five rebounds and seven assists against Memphis. But aside from he and PG Jarrett Jack (16.4 PPG, 7.4 APG), the Hornets are struggling to score as C Chris Kaman (10.1 PPG, 7.1 RPG) struggles to adjust to his new team, and PF Carl Landry (11.6 PPG) has been in and out of head coach Monty Williams’ doghouse.

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