Rockets at Grizzlies
The road usually is not where a team thrives, but that has not held true for the Houston Rockets thus far this season. Houston attempts to improve to 3-0 away from home Friday when it takes on the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. The Rockets began the campaign with victories at Detroit and Atlanta before falling to Portland and Denver at home. They have the chance to start a season with three straight road wins for the first time since 1996-97, when they opened 8-0 away from home.
Memphis is seeking its fourth consecutive overall victory and its 13th in a row at home. Following a season-opening loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles, the Grizzlies have posted road wins over Golden State and Milwaukee as well as a home triumph over Utah. Memphis also is looking to match the best five-game start in franchise history as it also opened the 2000-01 campaign at 4-1 while based in Vancouver.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, CSN (Houston), SportSouth (Memphis)
ABOUT THE ROCKETS (2-2): Guard James Harden was held to 15 points by Denver on Wednesday after averaging a league-high 35.3 in his first three games, which helped earn him Western Conference Player of the Week honors. Houston has recorded 50 or more rebounds twice already this season after accomplishing the feat only nine times in 2011-12. Center Greg Smith was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field in the season opener against the Pistons after hitting all 13 of his shots in three preseason games. Smith has missed three straight contests with a strained left foot.
ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (3-1): Memphis is nearly unbeatable when scoring at least 100 points. It is 3-0 this season when it reaches the century mark after going 17-3 in such games in 2011-12, with two of the three losses occurring in overtime. Center Marc Gasol leads Memphis with 19.3 points per game and is second on the team in both rebounds (7.5) and assists (5.8). The Grizzlies have won 22 consecutive contests in which they have shot at least 50 percent from the field.
1. Houston C Omer Asik has grabbed at least 10 rebounds in each of his last three games.
2. Memphis has not lost at home since dropping an overtime decision on March 16 to Toronto. It has not lost in regulation in its own building since Feb. 12 against Utah.
3. The Rockets are 8-14 on the road against the Grizzlies since the club moved to Memphis.
PREDICTION: Grizzlies 102, Rockets 90.