Western Conference battle pits Houston against Denver
Denver Nuggets (23-9, second in the Western Conference) vs. Houston Rockets (22-11, fourth in the Western Conference)
Houston; Tuesday, 7 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: The Houston Rockets play the Denver Nuggets in a matchup of two of the top Western Conference teams.
The Rockets are 13-7 against Western Conference opponents. Houston has a 9-5 record in games decided by 10 points or more.
The Nuggets are 14-5 against conference opponents. Denver averages 45.2 rebounds per game and is 14-3 when grabbing more rebounds than opponents.
The teams meet for the second time this season. The Nuggets won 105-95 in the last matchup on Nov. 20. Nikola Jokic led Denver with 27 points, and James Harden led Houston with 27 points.
TOP PERFORMERS: PJ Tucker is third on the Rockets with 7.3 rebounds and averages 9.1 points. Ben McLemore is averaging 2.4 made 3-pointers and 9.9 points over the last 10 games for Houston.
Jokic leads the Nuggets averaging 18 points and collecting 10.0 rebounds. Jamal Murray has averaged 17.1 points and 4.7 rebounds while shooting 39.4 percent over the last 10 games for Denver.
LAST 10 GAMES: Rockets: 7-3, averaging 116 points, 44.5 rebounds, 20.5 assists, 7.6 steals and 5.1 blocks per game while shooting 47.2 percent from the field. Their opponents have averaged 112.6 points on 46.8 percent shooting.
Nuggets: 9-1, averaging 113.7 points, 43.9 rebounds, 27.4 assists, 8.2 steals and 3.4 blocks per game while shooting 48.7 percent from the field. Their opponents have averaged 106.2 points on 46.8 percent shooting.
INJURIES: Rockets: Gerald Green: out (left foot), James Harden: out (toe), Russell Westbrook: out (rest), Nene: out (abductor), Clint Capela: out (heel).
Nuggets: Bol Bol: out (foot), Paul Millsap: day to day (knee), Gary Harris: day to day (shin).