The gist: The Rockets ended DeMarcus Cousins’ double-double streak with a 103-89 win behind Sam Dalembert’s 21-16 explosion and another near triple-double from Kyle Lowry. The Blazers look to bounce back after dropping a 99-83 decision to the Spurs on the road.
Key matchup: Kyle Lowry vs Raymond Felton
While Lowry has been overachieving, Felton has been disappointing with his stats dropping across the board. It will be an opportunity to see if the law of averages come into play here.
X-factor: Jordan Hill
Could the young one be a reliable post presence against Kurt Thomas, the oldest player in the league?
Code Red: Portland’s depth will tip the scales. Houston’s starters will not go off for 91 points every night like they did against the Kings. The bench firepower has to come in to keep up with Nicolas Batum and Jamal Crawford.