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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Houston Rockets

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After a 2-day layoff from game action, the San Antonio Spurs are getting set to take on the Houston Rockets.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs vs. Houston Rockets

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
January 2, 2016, 7:30 p.m. Spurs Time
TV: FSSW/NBA TV - RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI

This is a rematch of the Christmas Day matchup between the two teams, one San Antonio looks to find redemption in, as they lost that initial game 88-84. After sitting out the last three games, Duncan is available to start.

That game was highly contested, featuring both teams defending well. Houston was able to win out, following a late 4th quarter surge from their ace, James Harden.

The Rockets were flying high after that win, as it put them over .500 for the year. In the week or so of action since, they have crashed back down to Earth, losing games to the New Orleans Pelicans, Atlanta Hawks, and Golden State Warriors. Conversely, since losing that game, the Spurs have been looking good, recording 3 straight wins against the Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Phoenix Suns.

If they are to avoid a repeat loss, the Spurs have to score better. The Rockets' defense in the first game was an outlier, as they rank 24th in the league in defensive efficiency. Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge should be able to get to their spots and shoot better than they did before. The Spurs' bench scoring should also be better, as they shot a putrid 37.9% from the floor on Christmas.

For anyone to have a shot at beating the Rockets, they need to keep Harden from performing well. He's going to get his point totals no matter what, but if he has to take up a lot of possessions to do so and keep him off the free throw line, there's a good chance to win.

Danny Green and Leonard did well in defending him in the first game, holding Harden to 7-21 from the field and only giving him 5 free throw attempts. Despite this good defensive job, Harden was still able to sink 2 three-pointers late in the game that gave Houston enough of separation to win. No matter how long you keep Harden at bay, he's still able to go off. In this league, sometimes good offense just trumps good defense.

vs

San Antonio Spurs

(Record: 28-6)

Houston Rockets

(Record:16-18)

January 2, 2016

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

7:30 PM CDT

TV: FSSW/NBA TV

Starters

Tony Parker

PG

Patrick Beverley

Danny Green

SG

James Harden

Kawhi Leonard

SF

Trevor Ariza

LaMarcus Aldridge

PF

Clint Capela

Tim Duncan

C

Dwight Howard

Game prediction: Spurs by 4.

For the Rocket's perspective, visit The Dream Shake.

As always Tony must dominate Fisher.