Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul will sit out tonight’s game against the Phoenix Suns for rest. The Rockets will look to get back on track after their nine-game winning streak was snapped by the Warriors last Wednesday.
The 106-104 home loss to the Kevin Durant-less Warriors was tough, the Rockets were trailing by 14 points in the fourth quarter but they made strong comeback and a 3-point play by Chris Paul got them within one point with 10.8 seconds left. The Warriors eventually secured the win in what was a recurring them throughout the night. The Rockets made it close on several occasions, only to trail by double digits again.
Paul played well despite the loss, finishing with 24 points, six rebounds and three assists on 7 of 12 shooting and 2 of 6 from 3-point range in 33 minutes. CP3 has struggled with his shot at times this season but he controls the game like no one else on the Rockets and he’s a valuable part of the team, averaging 15.4 points, 8.1 assists and 4.6 rebounds with an 18.88 PER in 32.6 minutes over 45 games.
Rockets Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Suns
*Notates expected starter
C: Clint Capela*, Nene Hilario
PF: Kenneth Faried*, Gary Clark
SF: PJ Tucker*, Danuel House Jr.
SG: Eric Gordon*, Gerald Green, Iman Shumpert
PG: James Harden*, Austin Rivers
With Chris Paul out. Eric Gordon will likely replace him in the starting lineup and expect Austin Rivers to get more playing time. Rivers had just two points in 20 minutes against the Warriors but he made a decent effort on defense.
Danuel House Jr. will make his much-anticipated return tonight after the Rockets converted his two-way contract into a standard NBA contract. House averaged 9.0 points in 24.8 minutes over 25 games and he will provide his energy and shooting in this game.
The Rockets are 4.5 games behind the Warriors for first place in the Western Conference but they can’t underestimate the Suns. Houston can’t afford to lose this game but it won’t be easy. The Suns are 4-2 in their last six games, including a home win against the Bucks and a road victory against the Warriors.
This team has a bright future, led by Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and Kelly Oubre Jr., who has been a difference-maker since his addition. It should be a fun game to watch and the Rockets have to come out ready for a hungry Suns squad.