Fixture: Houston Rockets vs Philadelphia 76ers
Date & Time: Friday, 3rd January 2020, 8:00 PM ET (Saturday, 1:00 AM GMT)
Venue: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
The Philadelphia 76ers have ended 2019 with four losses on the trot, which started with a defeat to Milwaukee Bucks on Boxing Day and continued to the final night of 2019 where the Sixers lost to Indiana Pacers. The run also included an Overtime loss against Miami Heat by a one-point margin. Their previous game ended in a 115-97 win where they missed Joel Embiid owing to a sore knee. He has 23.7 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game.
Embiid will once again be up against one his rivals Russell Westbrook on Friday. Westbrook is slowly showing signs of settling into the Rockets line-up alongside James Harden. The Rockets will be starting 2020’s campaign placed fourth in the Western Conference. They have been led by Harden, who has been contributing at an average of 38.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game. After having beaten Denver Nuggets in their previous game, the Rockets will be confident to start 2020 with a win.
Injuries: Nene (Hip)- Out, Gerald Green (Foot)- Out
Expected starting lineup: James Harden, Russell Westbrook, P.J. Tucker, Danuel House, Clint Capela
Injuries: James Enns III (Illness)- Questionable, Matisse Thybulle (Knee Sprain)- Out
The Sixers’ away record doesn’t read as good as their home record (7-11 away as compared to 16-2 at home). Also, after losing their last three games, Houston isn’t one of the easiest places to visit in the league.
On the other hand, the Rockets will be high on confidence after beating Denver by a margin of 26 points. With the momentum, Houston might go on to register another win on Friday.