The NBA is set up with an action packed night throughout February 3. Ten games are up on the board throughout Wednesday night. One of these matchups will be between the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder. These two teams have had solid starts to this season, but need a big win in this one. This game will tip off at around 8:00 PM Eastern time.
The Rockets have put up a record of 10-9 throughout the early portion of this season, which has them sitting in eighth place of the Western Conference. Houston has won six games in a row entering this matchup, which has helped propel them over .500. The Rockets will look to keep this winning streak going with another win against the Thunder.
Oklahoma City has opened up this season with a record of 8-11, which has them in twelfth place of the Western Conference. The Thunder have lost two straight games and five of their last seven. Oklahoma City will look to bounce back with a win in this one as they try to avoid falling further in the standings. The Thunder will look to come out hot at home in this one.
These two teams have started out this season with strong records, which has helped them stay in the playoff race for a tight Wester Conference. Houston has had a better start as they sit in a playoff spot, but a nice winning streak could get the Thunder right back in it. I expect both teams to come out hot in this one as it is the second half of a back to back.
The Rockets and the Thunder met up three times throughout last regular season. James Harden scored 40 points in the first meeting to give the Rockets a 116-112 win. The second game was in Oklahoma City, where Danilo Gallinari scored 23 points and 11 rebounds to help give the Thunder a 113-92 win. The final game shifted to Houston, where Chris Paul’s 28 points helped lead Oklahoma City to a 112-107 win.
These two teams met up in the first round of last season’s playoffs as well. The Rockets were able to win Game’s 1 and 2, but Oklahoma City came back to win Game 3 and 4. Houston took a commanding Game 5 with a 114-80 win. The Thunder forced Game 7 with a 104-100 win though. The Rockets were able to win the series though with a 104-102 win in Game 7.
The first game of this season’s series was in Oklahoma City on February 1. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 19 points, while Darius Bazley and Hamidou Diallo finished with 15 points. Eric Gordon dropped 25 points off the bench for the Rockets. John Wall and Christian Wood both finished with 18 points to help give Houston a 136-106 win on the road.
Oklahoma City was able to take the season series last season with two wins in three games. The Rockets bounced back in the postseason though, winning the first round series in seven games. Houston also set the pace this season winning on February 1 in Oklahoma City. The Rockets will look to keep it up with another win on Wednesday night.
Field Goal Shooting
Houston has been solid shooting the ball throughout this season so far. The Rockets have been able to make around 45.9 percent of their shots from the field, which is 17th in the NBA. Houston is also shooting 36.6 percent from behind the arc, which is 14th in the league. The Rockets have made 75.6 percent of their shots from the free throw line, which is 18th in the NBA.
The Thunder have not been great shooting the ball in the early part of this season. Oklahoma City is shooting 45.1 percent from the field, which is 22nd in the league. The Thunder have also made around 34.1 percent of their shots from deep, which is 27th in the NBA. Oklahoma City is shooting 72.2 percent from the free throw line, which is 27th in the league.
These two teams have not been great shooting the ball early in the season, but the Rockets have a clear edge in this one. Oklahoma City has not been great from most places in the field, but could give themselves the edge if they set the pace inside the arc. Houston’s defense has been great though, holding opposing teams to a 44.8 percent shooting percentage, which is 6th in the NBA.
The Rockets have been led by their stars throughout this season so far. Christian Wood is averaging 23.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game this season. Victor Oladipo has averaged 21 points per game, while John Wall is averaging 18 points per game. Eric Gordan has averaged around 17.5 points per game off the bench to round out this lineup.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been the leader for this young Oklahoma City team this season. Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 22 points and 6.5 assists per game. Luguentz Dort and Al Horford have averaged 12.5 points per game. Hamidou Diallo is averaging 11.5 points per game, while Darius Bazley has averaged 11 points.
These two teams have been led by their stars early in the season. Houston has seen a lot of their scoring come from their top four in Wood, Oladipo, Wall and Gordan. The Thunder will look to shut them down in this one. If Oklahoma City can have multiple players down their lineup step up, it could help them bounce back against this Rockets team.
Houston is coming off a dominant win against the Thunder and I believe that the Rockets can do it again in this one. Houston is the better shooting team and the better defending team. Houston also has quite a few players playing well this season, which is tough for Oklahoma City to match up with. I think that the Rockets can take over early in this one to keep the winning streak alive.
BetOnline has Houston listed as a -4 ½ against the spread, which gives a solid edge to the Rockets on the road. Houston has been playing really well as of late and I think they can keep that streak going. Oklahoma City has started to fall back down to earth after a great start, which I think is right. I like the Rockets to carry momentum over, which should help them cover the spread.