Nets vs. Rockets: Brooklyn Hits Houston for a Big Challenge

With Boston win behind them, Nets take on high-scoring Harden and Rockets

With Monday's win over the Boston Celtics, the Brooklyn Nets' record of 14-5 dating back to Dec. 7 includes wins over three of the top five teams in the Eastern Conference standings. With Wednesday night's game in Houston, they'll face the Western Conference's No. 4 team and the league's top scorer, James Harden.

It's the middle of a challenging weeklong stretch for Brooklyn, facing Toronto, Boston, Houston and Orlando, with three of those games on the road.

The Magic are part of a group of six teams separated by four games in the standings that seems lined up for now to battle for the final three Eastern Conference playoff spots. The Nets (22-23) are one of them, holding the seventh spot and two games up on ninth-place Orlando (19-24). The Nets and Magic will play three times in a two-week span beginning Friday.

"We're obviously in a position we've never been in," said Nets coach Kenny Atkinson. "I think as we get deeper in the season, if we continue to make strides, then these games are going to take more and more significance. But I think right now what you're talking about is we're playing games that mean something. That's exciting for our crowd, but it's also exciting for our development and our confidence. These guys think they can do something special. So far, we're making strides."

The Nets flipped extremes in going from an eight-game losing streak to a seven-game winning streak in December. But maybe the most telling thing is the 7-4 record since the Dec. 21 loss to Indiana ended the winning streak. They didn't regress or backslide. It wasn't a fluke. They've been solid and steady ever since, playing like a team that's in the mix to stay. And the overall play of the last six weeks might be changing perceptions of the Nets after three seasons with fewer than 30 wins.

"I think it's no longer that we're a team that just plays hard," said Jarrett Allen. "We're a team that plays hard and have the chance of winning and beating a better team. A couple of years ago we lacked their style, but now they have to scout us and be ready for us coming in."

OVERCOMING INJURIES

"Hopeful" is not one of the NBA's official injury status categories, but that's how Kenny Atkinson described Rondae Hollis-Jefferson's status for Wednesday's game against the Houston Rockets before Monday's game against the Boston Celtics.

At that point, Hollis-Jefferson had already been declared out against the Celtics, his seventh straight game sidelined with an adductor strain over a two-week span. The Nets were also missing Shabazz Napier due to hamstring tightness, and while Hollis-Jefferson is probable against the Rockets, Napier is questionable.

The Nets were already without Caris LeVert and Allen Crabbe, who have been sidelined for lengthy periods, and Jared Dudley suffered a recent hamstring strain. All three are out against Houston.

Despite that, the Nets won for the 14th time in 19 games dating back to Dec. 7 with their 109-102 victory against the Celtics. They've managed to not just survive, but adapt and thrive with key players sidelined.

"I think that's the thing that pleases me the most, is how we've, if you'd have told me we'd be in this position without those guys, I would say no way," said Atkinson after the Nets improved to 22-23 and remained in playoff position in the standings. "And that's no discredit to anybody. I do think we're deeper. But missing, you can argue, three starters, missing those guys and we're still, even a win like tonight, it makes it kind of more special that we're doing it with some really key, key players out and starters. It makes it extra special."

JAMES HARDEN

We'll get to the Rockets, but James Harden is getting his own little section here, applicable for a player who is on a run that hasn't been seen in the NBA for over 50 years. Harden's 57-point game against Memphis on Monday was his 17th straight game with at least 30 points, last accomplished by Wilt Chamberlain during the 1963-64 season.

The string began with 50 points against the Lakers on Dec. 13, one of 10 40-point games in the run. Harden is averaging 41.3 points, 9.2 assists and 7.5 rebounds, shooting 38.5 percent from 3-point range since then. Overall, Harden is the league leader with 34.8 points per game and is fourth with 8.6 assists per game.

ABOUT THE ROCKETS

James Harden is picking up the load for an increasingly shorthanded Houston squad. Chris Paul has been out since just before Christmas with a hamstring strain. Now Clint Capela is out, likely through the All-Star break, with ligament damage to his thumb. A third starter, Eric Gordon, is listed as day-to-day and has been out since New Year's Eve. The Rockets are 14-4 since Dec. 11, a string that did begin before injuries began to mount. That stretch has elevated Houston to fourth place in the Western Conference with a 25-18 record after a shaky start. Capela, Gordon and Paul are Houston's next three top scorers after Harden. Next up after that is December pick-up Austin Rivers, who's started the last eight games and averaged 13.3 points in 11 games for the Rockets, shooting 39.7 percent from 3-point range. The Rockets lead the NBA with 43.3 3-point attempts per game and shoot 35.2 percent. Houston is No. 3 in the league in offensive rating (113.5) but 26th in defensive rating (111.4).

Brooklyn Nets Stat Leaders

Upcoming Home Games

2019-20 Season

Preseason

  • home game
    FridayFri Oct 04 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    W 137-89

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    T. Prince
    22PTS
    Taurean Prince
    S. Dinwiddie
    12RBS
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    C. LeVert
    9ASTS
    Caris LeVert
    YES Network, NBA TVWFAN
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  • away game
    ThursdayThu Oct 10 Mercedes-Benz Arena
    W 114-111

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    S. Dinwiddie
    20PTS
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    R. Kurucs
    8RBS
    Rodions Kurucs
    S. Dinwiddie
    7ASTS
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    NBA TV
    Watch Game
  • home game
    SaturdaySat Oct 12 Shenzhen Universiade Center
    W 91-77

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    C. LeVert
    22PTS
    Caris LeVert
    D. Jordan
    11RBS
    DeAndre Jordan
    C. LeVert
    5ASTS
    Caris LeVert
    NBA TV
    Watch Game
  • home game
    FridayFri Oct 18 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    L 107-123

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    K. Irving
    19PTS
    Kyrie Irving
    D. Jordan
    9RBS
    DeAndre Jordan
    K. Irving
    4ASTS
    Kyrie Irving
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game

Regular Season

  • home game
    WednesdayWed Oct 23 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    L 126-127OT1

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    K. Irving
    50PTS
    Kyrie Irving
    T. Prince
    11RBS
    Taurean Prince
    K. Irving
    7ASTS
    Kyrie Irving
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    FridayFri Oct 25 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    W 113-109

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    K. Irving
    26PTS
    Kyrie Irving
    J. Allen
    11RBS
    Jarrett Allen
    K. Irving
    5ASTS
    Kyrie Irving
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    SundaySun Oct 27 FedExForum, Memphis, TN
    L 133-134OT1

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    K. Irving
    37PTS
    Kyrie Irving
    J. Allen
    13RBS
    Jarrett Allen
    S. Dinwiddie
    8ASTS
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    YES NetworkWCBS 880 AM
    Watch Game
  • home game
    WednesdayWed Oct 30 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    L 108-118

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    K. Irving
    28PTS
    Kyrie Irving
    D. Jordan
    17RBS
    DeAndre Jordan
    S. Dinwiddie
    7ASTS
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    FridayFri Nov 01 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    W 123-116

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    T. Prince
    27PTS
    Taurean Prince
    T. Prince
    12RBS
    Taurean Prince
    K. Irving
    10ASTS
    Kyrie Irving
    YES Network, ESPNWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    SaturdaySat Nov 02 Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI
    L 109-113

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    T. Prince
    20PTS
    Taurean Prince
    K. Irving
    11RBS
    Kyrie Irving
    K. Irving
    10ASTS
    Kyrie Irving
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    MondayMon Nov 04 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    W 135-125

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    K. Irving
    39PTS
    Kyrie Irving
    T. Prince
    11RBS
    Taurean Prince
    K. Irving
    9ASTS
    Kyrie Irving
    YES Network, NBA TVWCBS 880 AM
    Watch Game
  • away game
    FridayFri Nov 08 Moda Center, Portland, OR
    W 119-115

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    S. Dinwiddie
    34PTS
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    J. Allen
    9RBS
    Jarrett Allen
    K. Irving
    6ASTS
    Kyrie Irving
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    SundaySun Nov 10 Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, AZ
    L 112-138

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    S. Dinwiddie
    18PTS
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    D. Jordan
    12RBS
    DeAndre Jordan
    S. Dinwiddie
    6ASTS
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    YES NetworkWCBS 880 AM
    Watch Game
  • away game
    TuesdayTue Nov 12 Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
    L 114-119

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    K. Irving
    27PTS
    Kyrie Irving
    D. Jordan
    17RBS
    DeAndre Jordan
    K. Irving
    5ASTS
    Kyrie Irving
    YES NetworkWCBS 880 AM
    Watch Game
  • away game
    ThursdayThu Nov 14 Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
    L 93-101

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    J. Allen
    17PTS
    Jarrett Allen
    D. Jordan
    11RBS
    DeAndre Jordan
    K. Irving
    9ASTS
    Kyrie Irving
    TNTWCBS 880 AM
    Watch Game
  • away game
    SaturdaySat Nov 16 United Center, Chicago, IL
    W 117-111

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    S. Dinwiddie
    24PTS
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    J. Allen
    7RBS
    Jarrett Allen
    J. Harris
    8ASTS
    Joe Harris
    YES Network, NBA TVWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    MondayMon Nov 18 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    L 86-115

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    S. Dinwiddie
    28PTS
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    J. Allen
    12RBS
    Jarrett Allen
    S. Dinwiddie
    8ASTS
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    WednesdayWed Nov 20 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    W 101-91

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    J. Allen
    22PTS
    Jarrett Allen
    J. Allen
    17RBS
    Jarrett Allen
    S. Dinwiddie
    8ASTS
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    FridayFri Nov 22 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    W 116-97

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    S. Dinwiddie
    23PTS
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    D. Jordan
    10RBS
    DeAndre Jordan
    S. Dinwiddie
    7ASTS
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    SundaySun Nov 24 Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
    W 103-101

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    S. Dinwiddie
    30PTS
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    T. Prince
    11RBS
    Taurean Prince
    T. Prince
    5ASTS
    Taurean Prince
    YES NetworkWCBS 880 AM
    Watch Game
  • away game
    MondayMon Nov 25 Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, OH
    W 108-106

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    S. Dinwiddie
    23PTS
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    J. Allen
    21RBS
    Jarrett Allen
    S. Dinwiddie
    9ASTS
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    WednesdayWed Nov 27 TD Garden, Boston, MA
    L 110-121

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    G. Temple
    22PTS
    Garrett Temple
    J. Allen
    14RBS
    Jarrett Allen
    S. Dinwiddie
    11ASTS
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    ESPNWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    FridayFri Nov 29 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    W 112-107

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    S. Dinwiddie
    32PTS
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    J. Allen
    11RBS
    Jarrett Allen
    S. Dinwiddie
    11ASTS
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    SundaySun Dec 01 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    L 106-109

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    S. Dinwiddie
    29PTS
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    J. Allen
    12RBS
    Jarrett Allen
    T. Prince
    5ASTS
    Taurean Prince
    YES NetworkWCBS 880 AM
    Watch Game
  • away game
    WednesdayWed Dec 04 State Farm Arena, Atlanta, GA
    W 130-118

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    G. Temple
    27PTS
    Garrett Temple
    J. Allen
    13RBS
    Jarrett Allen
    S. Dinwiddie
    5ASTS
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    FridayFri Dec 06 Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
    W 111-104

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    J. Harris
    22PTS
    Joe Harris
    D. Jordan
    13RBS
    DeAndre Jordan
    S. Dinwiddie
    12ASTS
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    SundaySun Dec 08 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    3:00pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    WednesdayWed Dec 11 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    SaturdaySat Dec 14 Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
    7:30pmET
    YES Network, NBA TVWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    SundaySun Dec 15 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    6:00pmET
    YES NetworkWCBS 880 AM
    Watch Game
  • away game
    TuesdayTue Dec 17 Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA
    8:00pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    ThursdayThu Dec 19 AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
    8:30pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    SaturdaySat Dec 21 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    6:00pmET
    YES NetworkWCBS 880 AM
    Watch Game
  • home game
    ThursdayThu Dec 26 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    8:00pmET
    TNTWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    SaturdaySat Dec 28 Toyota Center, Houston, TX
    8:00pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    MondayMon Dec 30 Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
    8:00pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    ThursdayThu Jan 02 American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
    8:30pmET
    YES NetworkWCBS 880 AM
    Watch Game
  • home game
    SaturdaySat Jan 04 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    6:00pmET
    YES NetworkWCBS 880 AM
    Watch Game
  • away game
    MondayMon Jan 06 Amway Center, Orlando, FL
    7:00pmET
    YES NetworkWCBS 880 AM
    Watch Game
  • home game
    TuesdayTue Jan 07 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
    YES Network, NBA TVWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    FridayFri Jan 10 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    SundaySun Jan 12 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    6:00pmET
    YES NetworkWCBS 880 AM
    Watch Game
  • home game
    TuesdayTue Jan 14 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
    YES Network, NBA TVWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    WednesdayWed Jan 15 Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
    7:00pmET
    YES Network, ESPNWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    SaturdaySat Jan 18 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    6:00pmET
    YES Network, NBA TVWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    MondayMon Jan 20 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    3:00pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    ThursdayThu Jan 23 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    8:00pmET
    TNTWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    SaturdaySat Jan 25 Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI
    7:00pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    SundaySun Jan 26 Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
    6:00pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    WednesdayWed Jan 29 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
    YES Network, ESPNWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    FridayFri Jan 31 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    SaturdaySat Feb 01 Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
    8:00pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    MondayMon Feb 03 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    WednesdayWed Feb 05 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
    YES Network, ESPNWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    SaturdaySat Feb 08 Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
    7:30pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    MondayMon Feb 10 Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
    7:00pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    WednesdayWed Feb 12 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    ThursdayThu Feb 20 Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
    8:00pmET
    TNTWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    SaturdaySat Feb 22 Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
    7:00pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    MondayMon Feb 24 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    WednesdayWed Feb 26 Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
    7:00pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    FridayFri Feb 28 State Farm Arena, Atlanta, GA
    7:30pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
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  • away game
    SaturdaySat Feb 29 AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
    7:30pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
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  • away game
    TuesdayTue Mar 03 TD Garden, Boston, MA
    7:30pmET
    TNTWFAN
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  • home game
    WednesdayWed Mar 04 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    FridayFri Mar 06 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    SundaySun Mar 08 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    3:00pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    TuesdayTue Mar 10 Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
    10:30pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    ThursdayThu Mar 12 Chase Center, San Francisco, CA
    10:30pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    FridayFri Mar 13 Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
    10:30pmET
    YES Network, NBA TVWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    SundaySun Mar 15 Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
    9:00pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    WednesdayWed Mar 18 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    SaturdaySat Mar 21 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    6:00pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    MondayMon Mar 23 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    WednesdayWed Mar 25 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:00pmET
    YES Network, ESPNWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    FridayFri Mar 27 Amway Center, Orlando, FL
    7:00pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    SaturdaySat Mar 28 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    6:00pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    MondayMon Mar 30 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
    YES Network, NBA TVWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    WednesdayWed Apr 01 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    FridayFri Apr 03 Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
    7:00pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • home game
    SundaySun Apr 05 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    6:00pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    TuesdayTue Apr 07 Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
    8:00pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    ThursdayThu Apr 09 Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI
    8:00pmET
    TNTWFAN
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  • away game
    SaturdaySat Apr 11 United Center, Chicago, IL
    8:00pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game
  • away game
    MondayMon Apr 13 Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, OH
    7:00pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
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  • home game
    WednesdayWed Apr 15 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
    YES NetworkWFAN
    Watch Game

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