Game Preview: Nuggets Head to Houston to Take on Rockets
Houston, TX – The Denver Nuggets face their toughest challenge of 2019 so far as they take on the Houston Rockets tonight. The Rockets handed the Nuggets a loss earlier this season, winning 109-99. Clint Capela led the Rockets in that game, scoring 24 points and hauling in nine rebounds.
Denver comes in to tonight’s game 26-11 and still find themselves in first in the Western Conference. The Nuggets have won five games in a row and are 8-2 over their last 10 games. Denver defeated the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday, their 10th win in a row at Pepsi Center. Tonight’s game is the first of a road back-to-back for the Nuggets as they travel to Miami for a game with the Heat tomorrow night.
Houston is one of the hottest teams in the league and have won 11 of their last 13 games. The Rockets had won six in a row before dropping a game to the Trail Blazers on Saturday. Houston is 22-16 overall and fifth in the Western Conference.
Here is what to watch for tonight:
Stopping Clint Capela around the rim: Clint Capela is often the beneficiary of lobs from Houston’s guards on the pick and roll, finishing at a high percentage in the paint. Capela is third in the league in points in the paint at 14.9 per night. 86.5% of his points come in the paint, the highest in the league. Capela is third in the league in field goal percentage at 63.6%. Capela also has the fourth highest offensive rebound percentage in the league at 14.6%. The Rockets’ center scored 24 points in the first game against the Nuggets, shooting 11-of-14 from the field.
Containing the Rockets from beyond the arc: The Rockets have made more three point attempts than any other team in the league at 568 this season. They have also attempted over 100 more than the next closest team. The Rockets shoot just 35% on the season, 0.3% lower than what the Nuggets shoot. The Rockets get 40.7% of their scoring from threes, the highest percentage in the league. Houston leads the league in percentage of unassisted made threes at 38.4. James Harden leads the league in made threes at 167, 19 more than the next closest player, Stephen Curry at 148.
The Nuggets are second in the league in three point defense, holding opponents to just 33% shooting. The Rockets shot 13-37 from deep in the first game between these teams.
Jokić on fire: Nikola Jokić has been on a roll over his last five games. Jokić is averaging 25.6 points, 11.2 rebounds and nine assists. Jokić is shooting 59% percent from the floor and 32% from three over that span.
Tonight’s game will tip at 6 pm MT and will air on Altitude TV and the AltitudeNOW app. Fans can listen on Altitude Radio, 92.5 FM.