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Game 34: New Orleans Pelicans catch break with James Harden and Russell Westbrook out for Houston Rockets

Austin Rivers and Eric Gordon are the Rockets starting backcourt. New Orleans fans are going to have a field day!

Houston Rockets v Miami Heat Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The New Orleans Pelicans normally do not catch those good scheduling breaks.

For instance, earlier this season, matchups against the Clippers and Trail Blazers witnessed the first games of the season for Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, respectively. They went up against the Warriors before Stephen Curry broke his hand, and on opening night, took the Toronto Raptors best shot.

Thus, that’s why it’s practically shocking to hear that the Houston Rockets will be without their three most impactful players tonight in James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Clint Capela.

Mike D’Antoni is electing to replace all of that firepower with Austin Rivers, Eric Gordon and Isaiah Hartenstein. Just doesn’t have the same ring as the previous trio, right? And remember, after missing nearly the last seven weeks with a knee injury, Gordon is appearing in his first game since November 11th.

Austin Rivers and Eric Gordon will be counted on to carry the Rockets to victory against a Pelicans team playing their best ball of the season, having won four of their last five games — and in what’s sure to be some unfriendly Smoothie King confines considering both players previous histories with New Orleans franchise!

Geaux Pels!

Where To Watch/Listen

What: New Orleans Pelicans (10-23) vs Houston Rockets (22-10)

Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA

When: Sunday, December 29, 2019 7:00 PM CST