Oklahoma City Thunder

OKC Thunder | Round 1, Game 4 Preview: Houston Rockets

Zachary Low

zacharylow88

Tip-Off: 3 PM CT

Location: AdventHealth Arena (Orlando, Florida)

Television: TNT, Fox Sports Oklahoma

Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC The Sports Animal

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

The Oklahoma City Thunder managed to pull out a 119-107 decision in overtime against the Houston Rockets in Game 3 on Saturday evening, but they cannot spend any time celebrating. The Thunder still trails the Rockets 1-2 in the series, and while they did make some improvements in Game 3, there are still plenty of adjustments to be made.

In Game 3, head coach Billy Donovan made the decision in the final seconds of regulation and all of overtime to play small ball. A lineup of Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Dennis Schröder, Luguentz Dort, and Danilo Gallinari went +12 to finish out the game, and that made all the difference.

Billy Donovan is a creature of habit, and he isn’t exactly known for making major adjustments, which is exactly what changing up the starting lineup would be. However, coming back from a 3-1 series deficit is a rarity—11 times in the history of the NBA playoffs—and not something OKC wants to mess with. If Donovan wants to truly give the Thunder a chance to tie up the series, then he’s going to need play Steven Adams less and spend more time going small.

Projected Starters

Thunder

  • PG: Chris Paul
  • SG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
  • SF: Luguentz Dort
  • PF: Danilo Gallinari
  • C: Steven Adams

Rockets

  • PG: James Harden
  • SG: Eric Gordon
  • SF: Danuel House Jr.
  • PF: Robert Covington
  • C: P.J. Tucker

Injuries

Thunder

  • NONE

Rockets

  • Luc Mbah A Moute (left knee effusion) is OUT.
  • Russell Westbrook (right quad strain) is OUT.

Head-to-Head

  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder is 21-22 against the Rockets in the regular season (14-8 at home, 7-14 on the road) and 6-8 against the Rockets in the playoffs (4-2 at home, 2-6 on the road).
  • The Thunder has won the season series with the Rockets 6 times, lost it 4 times, and tied 2 times.
  • The Thunder won the regular season series against the Rockets this season 2-1 (1-0 at home, 1-1 on the road).

Game Notes

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