Raptors at Rockets
The Houston Rockets are slicing through opponents and look to post their seventh consecutive victory when they host the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday. Houston is averaging 120.2 points during the winning streak with an average victory margin of 17.7 points.
Rockets star James Harden is averaging 35.8 points and 11.5 assists during the streak and he contributed 26 points and a season-best 15 assists in Sunday's 118-95 rout of the Indiana Pacers. "I'm just trying to be aggressive," said Harden afterward, "be aggressive and good things happen, whether it's for you or for your teammates." Toronto established a season low for points when it opened a three-game road trip with a 95-94 loss to the Boston Celtics on Sunday. The Raptors nearly won the game but guard DeMar DeRozan's turnaround jumper with two seconds left was off the mark.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBATV, TSN (Toronto), AT&T SportsNet Southwest (Houston)
ABOUT THE RAPTORS (7-5): The near-miss against Boston -- the Celtics stretched their winning streak to 12 -- marked Toronto's first game-ending sequence with the outcome on the line this season and coach Dwane Casey was fine with DeRozan's attempt. "He shook him, he was wide open, he vaulted up, and I'll take that shot 999 times out of 1,000," Casey told reporters. DeRozan was just 8-of-22 shooting but tallied 24 points -- the 10th time this season he scored 24 or more in a game.
ABOUT THE ROCKETS (11-3): Houston's fast-paced approach is clicking and the squad led by double digits at the end of the first quarter in each of the past five games. "It shows the character of our team to get out to good starts and try to control the game early on," shooting guard Eric Gordon told reporters. "That's what we've been doing." Center Clint Capela had 20 points and 17 rebounds in the romp over the Pacers and already has eight double-doubles.
1. The Rockets won three of the past four meetings.
2. Toronto SF Norman Powell (hip) was injured Sunday and missed Monday's practice, making him doubtful to play against the Rockets.
3. Houston PG Chris Paul (knee), who hasn't played since the season opener, could return by the end of the week.