Phoenix Suns vs. Houston Rockets Preview, Prediction, Picks & Odds -- 11/14/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Time: 7 p.m. ET
Venue: Toyota Center, Houston, TX
Where to watch: AT&T SportsNet-Southwest, Bally Sports Arizona

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Suns -9
BetMGM: Suns -8.5
Caesars: Suns -8.5

Season record
Suns: 8-3
Rockets: 1-11

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Suns - Rockets preview and analysis


Recent form
Suns: won seven straight; won 119-94 at Grizzlies on Friday
Rockets: lost 10 straight; lost 104-92 vs. Trail Blazers on Friday

This is why they play 82 games in the NBA. Because the Phoenix Suns can reel off a seven-game winning streak and everything is fine.

The Suns will try to push their winning streak to eight, and will have a good chance at doing so, when they visit the one-win Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on Sunday.

Phoenix has looked every bit like the reigning Western Conference champions over the past two weeks since its 1-3 start. Four of their wins have come by double digits, including their 25-point romp against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday at FedEx Forum.

Seven players scored in double figures for the Suns, led by 17 from Devin Booker and a 15-point, 12-assist double-double from Chris Paul. The Suns made 49 percent of their shots while going 18 of 37 from 3-point range.

Defensively, the Suns held the Grizzlies to just 7 of 33 from deep and left Ja Morant all alone on an island. The star guard’s 26 points and 12 rebounds, along with Jaren Jackson Jr.’s 19 points, was all the Grizzlies could muster.

"I think our defense was very, very, very good tonight," Suns forward Jae Crowder said. "It was no coincidence we were able to get out to a good lead."
Not to mention the Suns have been able to do the majority of this without star center Deandre Ayton in the lineup for five of the last six games due to a leg injury. JaVale McGee has filled in to average 9.2 points and six rebounds over the past six games.

The offense remains through Paul and Booker, and as long as they’re clicking like they are,  they’re going to be a nuisance for most backcourts trying to stop them. The Rockets will be no exception with their young group getting a crash course of trying to stop absolute stars.

Houston has lost 10 straight and is coming off a 12-point loss at home to the Portland Trail Blazers. Four players were in double figures for the Rockets, but they were still shooting 7 of 32 from 3-point range and fell behind with no secondary scoring outside of 18 points from Kevin Porter Jr.

No. 2 pick, rookie Jalen Green, shot only 3 of 9 for 9 points and six turnovers in 31 minutes.

Prediction


This matchup is going to be a rough learning lesson for the Rockets. They’re going to learn a hard lesson while going through this rough patch for at least a couple of years before they finally get back to relevancy. It’s a game that Christian Wood is going to have to dominate with the Suns rotating between McGee and Frank Kaminsky. This slow start for the Rockets will continue, as the Suns roll. Suns by 15

Betting trends


The Suns are 28-14 ATS following a three-game stretch of making 47 percent of their shots or better.

The Suns are 13-3 ATS following consecutive wins of 10 points or more.

The Rockets are 7-23 ATS in their last 30 as a home underdog.

The Rockets are 2-9 ATS following 10 or more straight losses.

Projected starting lineup


Suns:
PG: Chris Paul
SG: Devin Booker
SF:
Mikal Bridges
PF:
Jae Crowder
C:
JaVale McGee

Rockets:
PG: Kevin Porter Jr.
SG: Jalen Green
SF:
Jae’Sean Green
PF:
Daniel Theis
C:
Christian Wood

Key injuries


Suns: C Deandre Ayton (leg, doubtful)

Rockets: PG Kevin Porter Jr. (thigh, probable)

Statistical leaders


Suns:
Points: Devin Booker -- 22.1
Rebounds: JaVale McGee -- 6.4
Assists: Chris Paul -- 11.0

Rockets:
Points: Christian Wood -- 16.9
Rebounds: Christian Wood -- 11.8
Assists: Kevin Porter Jr. -- 5.2

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert basketball picks today. And if you enjoyed this Phoenix Suns - Houston Rockets prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily NBA projections and previews.

Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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