OKC Thunder (22-6, 12-5 road) at Houston Rockets (16-13, 10-5 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 108.3 (3rd), Rockets– 104.6 (9th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 102.4 (15th), Rockets – 103.1 (17th)
Pace: Thunder – 93.4 (5th), Rockets – 92.3 (11th)
View from the enemy: Red 94
This isn’t the same Rockets team the Thunder swept on back-to-back nights in January. Why? Because Kyle Lowry is back. And that makes the Rockets so much better.
Houston coming in: The Rockets played last night losing to the Grizzlies.
Three Big Things
1. Westbrook vs. Lowry. This is one of those matchups you have to keep an eye on. Lowry is strong and can match up physically with Westbrook better than most. And he’s a bulldog defender so he’s likely going to get under Westbrook’s skin. Might be on red alert for a six or seven turnover game from Russ.
2. Defending Scola. He’s a problem. He’s always been tough on the Thunder. He’s got incredible footwork, is crafty around the basket and will be a tough matchup for whichever Thunder big tries to guard him. Serge Ibaka will need to stay disciplined with all of Scola’s pump fakes and drop-steps.
3. Efficiency. Both of these teams try and execute efficiently on offense by getting high percentage shots and lots of free throws. Whoever does it best will win.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Thunderers.