Oklahoma City Thunder (37-28, 21-10 home)
Houston Rockets (49-13, 24-7 away)
Tuesday, March 6 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
TV Coverage: TNT (245 DirecTV, 31 Cox, 730 HD 108 AT&T U-Verse, 138 Dish)
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 5-point underdogs. The over/under is 219½.
Online Stream: TNT | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Rockets: here
SETTING THE SCENE
- The Oklahoma City Thunder had their three-game win streak snapped on Saturday night. However, the Thunder (37-28) are still in the thick of the playoff race and will host the the NBA’s hottest team tonight on TNT.
- The Houston Rockets come into the game on a 15-game winning streak, the second longest in the NBA this season (Boston had a 16-game winner earlier this season).
- Oklahoma City is 1-0 against the Rockets this season, a blowout win on Christmas (without Chris Paul).
- The Thunder are for sure the underdogs in this one but the Thunder have appeared big in some games against larger teams. Will we see Saturday’s team or will we see the team that beat the snot out of the Warriors?
- Oklahoma City is 6-3 against Houston at home since 2013.
FOLLOWING THE ACTION
- You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
- Tonight’s game is strictly on TNT and will be available to the national audience. No local blackouts here.
SCOUTING THE ROCKETS
- The Houston Rockets are 49-13 on the season, No. 1 record in the NBA.
- The Rockets have won 15 straight games, dating back to a 115-113 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Jan. 26.
- Houston is 23-4 since Jan. 1.
- Oklahoma City is 108-106 all-time against the Houston Rockets.
- Since relocation, the Thunder are 15-19 against Houston.
- When the games are played at Chesapeake, Oklahoma CIty is 11-7, including 6-3 since 2013.
- Earlier this season, Oklahoma City beat Houston 112-107 (without Chris Paul).
- The Thunder are 4-10 against Houston dating to April 4, 2014.
- The Rockets beat the Boston Celtics 123-120 on March 3.
- INJURY REPORT:
Ryan Anderson (hip) is out.
Joe Johnson (illness) is out.
Brandan Wright (knee) is out.
- The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Houston came on Dec. 29, 2013, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 117-86 (31-point margin of victory).
- Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (12 points) vs. Houston occurred during a 89-77 loss on Nov. 1, 2008.
THUNDER INJURY REPORT
- Andre Roberson (ruptured patellar tendon) is out for the season.
- The Thunder will host the Suns (Thurs.) and Spurs (Sat.) to round out the week.
- Next week, Oklahoma City will play the Kings, Hawks and Clippers before playing in Toronto for an early noon tip on Sunday, March 18.
WHAT’S IN A ROCKETS NAME
- The Houston Rockets originally called San Diego home. Rockets was chosen via a name-the-team contest and was a reference to the city’s theme, “A City In Motion.”
- Liquid-fueled Atlas rockets were also being manufactured in San Diego.
- When the team moved to Houston in 1971, it made perfectly good sense to keep the name, as Houston was home to a NASA space center.
Three Keys to the Game
Houston wants to light it up and the Thunder will have to defend strong. Houston will jack it up all night long and the Thunder, who’ve been really bad since the Andre Roberson injury defending the three, will have to expect a miracle and see the Rockets be cold tonight.
Rebounding is so imperative to the Thunder. Oklahoma City is 27-10 this season when they out rebound their opponents. Oklahoma City though, a poor 10-18 when they don’t. It’s like the three-point shooting. Oklahoma City was out rebounded by the Rockets the last time they played, and that contributed to the loss. They have to do a better job tonight.
Oklahoma City needs to figure out their turnover situation. They’re averaging 15.3 turnovers per game since the All-Star Break. They’ve done a better job the last couple of games, only averaging only averaging 11.5 per game, compared to the 16.0 previous games. Oklahoma City cuts down the turnovers and the Thunder cannot get out on the break, they’ll win.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!