TNT Thursday night; Spurs @ Rockets, Mavs @ Blazers

Only two games on the schedule tonight. Both games are on TNT and feature Western Conference teams.

San Antonio Spurs @ Houston Rockets 8 pm

James Harden will try to get the Rockets to 6-0 as they host Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs.

The Rockets host the Spurs who are coming off a win against the Atlanta Hawks last night. This will be the Spurs fourth game of the season and the Rockets sixth.

The Rockets had an impressive win in Miami on Tuesday night. Their defense is currently second in points allowed and they are fifth in points per game. James Harden has more free throws made than field goals, Trevor Ariza leads the league in three pointers made and Dwight Howard is still a defensive force in the middle.

The Spurs will have their hands full with a rested Rockets team. They lost all four matchups against them last season. The Spurs will be without Tiago Splitter and maybe Marco Belinelli; both players were injured in last night’s game.

The key for the Spurs will be chasing the Rockets off the three point line. The Rockets take and make the most three pointers in the league so far and hit at a 44% mark. Dwight Howard will be a handful on the inside and James Harden usually plays well against the Spurs.

This might be the game to get Kawhi Leonard going this season. He scored 11 points last night in 30 minutes. 

At home and rested the Rockets will get the victory over a Spurs team who is on the second night of a back to back.

Dallas Mavericks @ Portland Trail Blazers 10:30 pm

Dirk Nowitzki leads the Mavericks into Portland to take on LaMarcus Aldridge and the Blazers.

The Mavericks lead the league is points per game at 111.8. Their defense gives up 105, so expect a high scoring game.

The Blazers have a good win against the Cavs on Tuesday night as Damian Lillard broke out of his slump to score 27 points.

Dallas has played lights out in the first half only to stumble in the third quarter and allow teams to get back into the game. In their last two games they gave up 38 points to the Celtics and 37 points to the Pelicans in the third quarter.

The matchup of LaMarcus Aldridge and Dirk Nowitzki will be interesting to watch. More importantly is the matchup between Chandler Parsons and Nicolas Batum at the small forward position. Parsons is coming off a season high 29 points and he is getting more comfortable in the Mavs system.

The Blazers have the advantage in the backcourt. Wesley Matthews and Damian Lillard combined for 48 points last game. Matthews has an advantage over both Monta Ellis and Devin Harris so expect the Blazers to go to him often.

The defense in the second half will determine the winner of this game. Portland will get the stops at home to get the win.