Thunder (28-10, 12-7 road) vs. Rockets (26-14, 15-5 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 108.3 (8th), Rockets – 109.2 (6th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 101.3 (3rd), Rockets – 105.5 (14th)
Pace: Thunder – 96.2 (6th), Rockets – 96.5 (8th)
Thunder fans are praying for a repeat of the last meeting between these two teams, because the setup is similar. The Rockets are on a back-to-back and the Thunder are still missing Russell Westbrook. But the last time, albeit in Oklahoma City, the Thunder rolled over the Rockets easily as Jeremy Lamb set a career high.
Probably not going to come that easy tonight. And check this, via Elias: With a loss tonight, the Thunder have their first losing record over 10-game span (4-6) since Dec. 4-23, 2009. That’s incredible. And very possible.
It’s a weird feeling right now. It’s like going back to the 2009-10 season where OKC won 50 games and the eight-seed. You know there’s a chance they could win any given game, but it certainly wasn’t expected.
The Thunder have lost three straight on the road and are watching their standing in the West currently slip. They need to stop the bleeding a bit and while winning in Houston is a tall order, if they can play like they did against Memphis, there’s at least a chance of it.
Three Big Things
1. Perk. It’s a big game for him. If he can slow Dwight Howard again, it’ll give the Thunder a decent chance to win. Simple as that.
2. Perimeter defense. The Rockets can pop points in bunches from the 3-point line and while the Thunder did a nice job defending it in the first meeting, the Rockets missed a lot of shots. Gotta guard.
3. Help. What made the Thunder so good against the Rockets in the first meeting is that they defended the heck out of them, and Durant got plenty of help. Jeremy Lamb was terrific and the rest of the team showed up. Durant’s going to score. Someone else needs to help him.
Tip at 8:30 CT. Go Win A Game Maybe