Who?: Atlanta Hawks vs Houston Rockets
What?: Eastern vs Western Conference Showdown (Game # 29, Road Game #13)
Where?: Toyota Center (Houston, TX)
When?: Monday, Dec. 31, 2012 – 7:00 PM (ET)
How?: SportSouth HDTV / 680AM & 93.7FM
Projected Starting Lineups
PG: Jeff Teague | SG: Lou Williams | SF: Kyle Korver | PF: Josh Smith | C: Al Horford
PG: Jeremy Lin | SG: James Harden | SF: Chandler Parsons | PF: Marcus Morris | C: Omer Asik
Injury/Inactive Players Report
Atlanta Hawks: Josh Smith (strained right hip flexor) is a game time decision. Devin Harris (sore left foot) and Anthony Morrow (right hip strain) are out.
Houston Rockets: Carlos Delfino (illness) is doubtful.
Current Records/Streak & Hot, Lukewarm, or Cold
Records: Atlanta Hawks (19-9) … Houston Rockets (16-12)
Streak: Atlanta Hawks –> OVERALL: Won 4 / HOME: Won 3 / ROAD: Won 1 … Houston Rockets –> OVERALL: Lost 2 / HOME: Lost 1 / ROAD: Lost 1
Home/Away Records: Hawks are (8-4) on the road … Rockets are (11-6) at home.
Atlanta Hawks: Lukewarm. The Hawks have won four straight games but only one of which was a road victory — at Cleveland Cavaliers — not exactly the toughest opponent regardless of venue. Atlanta will have their work cut out for them tonight in Houston, especially since they already lost to the Rockets this season and will also be without star player Josh Smith.
Houston Rockets: Lukewarm. Houston has lost back-to-back games but that was against the two top teams in the West — San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City. The Rockets were previously riding a five-game winning streak with victories over the Minnesota Timberwolves, Chicago Bulls, Memphis Grizzlies, Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks.
Season/Past Season Series
The Hawks visit Houston for the only time this year in the second-and-final meeting with the Rockets. Houston took the first contest, 109-102, at Philips Arena on 11/2 behind James Harden’s 45 points and Jeremy Lin’s double-double (21 points/10 rebounds). Six Hawks scored in double-figures led by Lou Williams’ 22 points and Josh Smith’s 18 (also 10 boards). The Rockets have won four straight against the Hawks overall, including the last two at home. Atlanta’s last win in the series was a 102-95 road win on 1/25/10. Houston leads the all-time series 72-69, including a 50-20 advantage at home.
LAST MEETING – ROCKETS 109, HAWKS 102 – PHILIPS ARENA (ATL, GA) – 11/2/12
The Hawks trailed 28-21 after one, as Houston grabbed nine offensive rebounds. At the midway point, the Rockets extended their advantage to nine at 53-44. Trailing as many as 16 in the third period, Atlanta rallied and cut the deficit to seven (81-74) entering the fourth. The Hawks fought all the way back to take an 88-87 advantage with 7:12 left. However, behind the continued hot play of James Harden, the Rockets finished strong and took a 109-102 win. Harden finished with a career-high 45 points. Atlanta was led by Lou Williams’ 22 points off the bench, while Josh Smith compiled 18 points and 10 boards.
Hawks assistant coach Lester Conner played with the Rockets during the 1987-88 season. Kyle Korver and Omer Asik were teammates with Chicago from 2010-12. Hawks assistant Kenny Atkinson spent the 2007-08 campaign serving as the Director of Player Development for Houston. Rockets TV analyst Matt Bullard appeared in 46 games for the Hawks in 1995-96.
Information was used from the Hawks and Rockets official gamenotes