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Rockets at Nuggets NBA Preview

January 12, 2007

NBA Basketball - Houston Rockets (-3, 188) at Denver Nuggets 10:30 PM EST

Although they are third in the league in points (104.1), the Nuggets have lost six of their last seven and are 3-7 since acquiring Allen Iverson from the Philadelphia 76ers. On Friday night, they'll face a red-hot Rockets team that has amazingly turned it on without it's top player, Yao Ming, who was lost for an extended period of time with a leg-injury.

Houston opened as a 2-1/2 point road favorite at So far in 2006-07, the Rockets are playing .500 basketball on the road at 10-10, while covering the spread in 11 of those 20 games.

One of the keys to the recent Houston surge has been the play of 40-year old center Dikembe Mutombo, who has been a defensive and rebounding force.  The 16-year veteran is averaging 14.3 rebounds in his last eight games. He tied a season high with 19 rebounds and blocked five shots for Houston in Wednesday's 102-77 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. Mutombo is seemingly a perfect fit for a team that allows a league-low 89.6 points per game.

Denver is coming off Wednesday's 92-83 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Iverson made 15-of-25 shots to score 33 points, Earl Boykins added 18 and Marcus Camby grabbed 16 rebounds for the Nuggets. However, on Thursday, Denver dealt Boykins and Julius Hodge to the Milwaukee Bucks for Steve Blake, who has averaged 3.6 points and 2.5 assists in 33 contests this season.

It seems Carmelo Anthony cannot get back fast enough for George Karl's struggling club. He still has five games left from his 15-game suspension.

Perhaps the national TV broadcast will help the Nuggets prevent the Rockets from igniting. Keep an eye on the Betting Trends page today as this game figures to see a lot of action on the red-hot roadies.

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