Tune-In Tidbits: TNT Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018
Get ready for Thursday's TNT doubleheader with key stats and trends to know about each matchup.
Los Angeles Lakers (17-10) at Houston Rockets (12-14), 8:00 ET, TNT
|Streak/Last 10||W2, 7-3||W1, 3-7|
|OffRtg||108.6 (15)||111.2 (6)|
|DefRtg||106.3 (8)||112.2 (27)|
|NetRtg||2.3 (9)||-1.1 (20)|
|Pace||103.82 (4)||96.76 (29)|
Need To Know
- The Lakers and Rockets are near polar opposites when it comes to pace of play. The Lakers rank fourth in the league at 103.82 possessions per 48 minutes, while the Rockets rank 29th at 96.76.
- This matchup features the two of the league's top three scorers with James Harden leading all players at 30.0 points per game and LeBron James not far behind at 28.3, which ranks third in the NBA. If LeBron maintains this scoring rate, this would be his highest scoring season since 2009-10 (the final season of his first Cleveland era).
- The Rockets won the first meeting of the season between these teams with a 124-115 win in Los Angeles on Oct. 20 in the second game of the season for both teams. James Harden and Chris Paul combined for 64 points (19-36 FG, 8-16 3P), while LeBron James led seven Lakers double figures with 24 points.
- The Lakers tried plenty of defenders to try to slow down James Harden with five players being the primary defender for at least eight possessions. Only Rajon Rondo found success as Harden scored two points on 0-3 shooting in 18 possessions.
- PJ Tucker defended LeBron James for 48 possessions (59.3% of matchup time) in the first meeting. LeBron scored 15 points on 6-13 shooting against Tucker, but the Lakers scored 57 points in those 48 possessions (1.19 points per possession).
- While the Lakers will look to push the ball in transition (they rank second in the league in fast break points), the Rockets pound the rock more than any other team with 20.4% of their shots coming off seven or more dribbles.
- The Lakers are 10-7 in games that feature clutch time (score within five points in the final five minutes) and have outscored their opponents by a total of 24 points in 54 minutes. Houston is 6-6 in clutch situations and have been outscored by four points in 39 minutes.
- While his shooting percentages are down this season, Eric Gordon remains an important piece of the Rockets offense. Houston's offense is 12.0 points per 100 possessions better with Gordon on the court (113.9 offensive rating) than when he's off the court (101.9).
Dallas Mavericks (15-11) at Phoenix Suns (4-24), 10:30 ET, TNT
|Streak/Last 10||W3, 8-2||L10, 0-10|
|OffRtg||108.5 (16)||101.3 (28)|
|DefRtg||106.6 (10)||112.7 (29)|
|NetRtg||2.0 (12)||-11.4 (30)|
|Pace||101.04 (13)||100.29 (21)|
Need To Know
- This games features the top two scoring rookies in Dallas' Luka Doncic (18.0) and Phoenix's Deandre Ayton (15.8). They are also both in the top three in rebounding with Ayton first (10.2) and Doncic third (6.8).
- Deandre Ayton one of 11 players (and only rookie) averaging at least 15 points and 10 rebounds per game this season.
- Dirk Nowitzki is reportedly set to make his season debut tonight. If he does, it will tip off his 21st season, setting a new record for most seasons played with one team (topping Kobe Bryant) and tying a record for most seasons played in the NBA (matching Robert Parish, Kevin Willis, Kevin Garnett and Vince Carter).
- As Dirk begins his season, he needs to play six games to pass Karl Malone for fourth all-time in games played and needs to score 233 points to pass Wilt Chamberlain for fifth all-time in scoring.
- The Suns won the first meeting between the teams this season with a 121-100 win over the Mavs in the season opener for both teams.
- Devin Booker led five Suns in double figures with a game-high 35 points on 12-19 FG and 6-10 3P. Booker will miss his sixth straight matchup Thursday while recovering from a left hamstring strain.
- Trevor Ariza was the primary defender on Luka Doncic for 38 possessions (59.4% of matchup time) and held the rookie to two points on 1-8 shooting from the field. Doncic dished out three assists but also had three turnovers while being defended by Ariza.
- In the battle of Deandre vs. DeAndre (Ayton vs. Jordan), the vet defended the rook for 41 possessions (58.6% of matchup time). During that time, Ayton scored nine points on 3-4 shooting, had three assists and forced Jordan into two shooting fouls.
- Maxi Kleber leads the Mavs in on-court/off-court net rating differential, as the Mavs are 19.3 points per 100 possessions better when he's on the court (plus-14.9 in 424 minutes) than when he's off the court (minus-4.4 in 829 minutes).
- DeAndre Jordan (4.5) and Deandre Ayton (4.3) rank fifth and seventh, respectively, in screen assists per game.
- The Mavericks are one of four teams in the NBA to score less than half of their points on 2-point shots as their splits are 49.6% 2-point, 32.3% 3-point (6th-highest percentage) and 18.0% free throws (3rd-highest percentage).