OKC Thunder | Game #20 Preview: Rockets

Tip-Off: 7 PM CT

Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

Television: Fox Sports Oklahoma

Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC The Sports Animal

Twitter: Follow @ZacharyLowNBA for live-tweets and discussion during the game

It’s only been two days, but here we are again: Thunder vs. Rockets at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The first matchup didn’t go so well for the good guys as Houston was hot from three from the get go. A 48-24 first quarter jump paced the Rockets to a 136-106 blowout over the Thunder, but OKC has a chance at redemption after just one day off.

The Thunder has struggled to defend this season, particularly the paint, but it was the perimeter where OKC was torched on Monday. I don’t expect Houston to shoot anywhere near the 28-of-52 (53.8%) mark that they hit on Monday, but still, the Thunder needs to do a better job at rotating on shooters and not leaving guys so wide open.

Tonight’s matchup should be a lot more competitive, so that alone will make it more enjoyable to watch, but after losing 2 straight and 7 of the last 10, a home win would be nice. Unfortunately, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is out for the Thunder due to a sprained knee, but the Rockets are missing John Wall, so that will help counteract Shai’s absence.

Projected Starters


  • PG: Theo Maledon
  • SG: Luguentz Dort
  • SF: Hamidou Diallo
  • PF: Darius Bazley
  • C: Al Horford


  • PG: Victor Oladipo
  • SG: Eric Gordon
  • SF: Jae’Sean Tate
  • PF: P.J. Tucker
  • C: Christian Wood



  • Trevor Ariza is OUT (not with team).
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is OUT (left knee sprain).
  • George Hill is OUT (right thumb surgery).
  • Ty Jerome is OUT (sprained left ankle).


  • Dante Exum is OUT (strained right calf).
  • Kenyon Martin Jr. is OUT (G League assignment).
  • David Nwaba is OUT (sprained left ankle).
  • Kevin Porter Jr. is OUT (G League assignment).
  • Brodric Thomas is OUT (G-League; two-way).
  • John Wall is OUT (left achilles injury recovery).


  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder is 21-23 against the Rockets in the regular season (14-9 at home, 7-14 on the road) and 7-9 against the Rockets in the playoffs (5-2 at home, 2-7 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 last season against the Rockets 2-1 (1-0 at home, 1-1 on the road).
  • The Thunder is 0-1 (0-1 at home, 0-0 on the road) against the Rockets so far this season.

Game Notes

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