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Oklahoma City Thunder

Game #66 Preview | Houston Rockets

The Thunder Guys

thethunderguys

Tip-Off: 7 PM CT

Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

Television: TNT

Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC The Sports Animal

Twitter: Follow @TheThunderGuys for live-tweets during the game

The Oklahoma City Thunder had a Merry Christmas thanks to Russell Westbrook the last time they hosted the Houston Rockets. The Thunder was able to get a 112-107 win that day, but things haven’t been quite that happy lately.

The Thunder has won six of their last eight games, but in all reality, this has been a rough stretch of basketball. Of those eight games, only two have come against teams with a record above .500, and those both ended in losses.

The Rockets enter tonight’s matchup on a 15-game win streak and carrying the league’s best record at 49-13, while the Thunder has fallen to seventh in the West and is honestly fighting to keep playoff hopes alive. A win tonight would do wonders for the Thunder, not just in the standings, but in morale, while a loss would likely be costly in the long run.

Projected Starters

Thunder

  • PG: Russell Westbrook
  • SG: Josh Huestis
  • SF: Paul George
  • PF: Carmelo Anthony
  • C: Steven Adams

Rockets

  • PG: Chris Paul
  • SG: James Harden
  • SF: Trevor Ariza
  • PF: P.J. Tucker
  • C: Clint Capela

Injuries

Thunder

  • Andre Roberson (left patellar surgery) is OUT.

Rockets

  • Ryan Anderson (left hip soreness) is OUT.
  • Joe Johnson (illness) is OUT.
  • Brandan Wright (right knee soreness) is OUT.

Head-to-Head

  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder is 15-19 against the Rockets (11-7 at home, 4-12 on the road).
  • In nine seasons, the Thunder has won the season series with the Rockets three times, lost it four times, and tied twice.
  • The Rockets won the regular season series with the Thunder 3-1 last season. The Rockets also knocked the Thunder out of the first round of the playoffs, winning that series 4-1.
  • This is the second of three meetings between the Thunder and the Rockets this season. The teams will meet again on April 7 in Houston.
  • The Thunder tied a season-low 18 three-point attempts when they played the Rockets on Christmas Day in Oklahoma City.
  • James Harden recorded 14 assists against the Thunder on Christmas Day in Oklahoma City, tied for the most in a game all season by an opposing player.

Game Notes

  • Oklahoma City most recently lost to Portland, while Houston is on a league-leading 15-game win streak.
  • Oklahoma City is 6-4 in the last 10 games, while Houston is 10-0.
  • Oklahoma City is 21-10 at home, while Houston is 24-7 on the road.
  • Oklahoma City is 22-19 against the Western Conference, while Houston is 30-8.
  • Oklahoma City is 8-3 after two days of rest, while Houston is 6-3 in the same situation.
  • Corey Brewer played in 218 games for the Houston Rockets over the course of the 2014-17 seasons.

Be sure to tune in for this week’s episode of “Thunder Things with the Thunder Guys” at 5 PM CT on the Crossover Radio Facebook Page or download the Crossover Radio app on the Google Play or Apple App store.

Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter & Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

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