Houston Rockets at Oklahoma City Thunder Pick
The up and down Oklahoma City Thunder (47-33) will close out the regular season against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday and then the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday. The Thunder enters Tuesday's game against the Rockets riding a three-game winning streak. The Thunder are a small favorite in this game over the Rockets.
Thunder With Two Huge Stars
The Thunder are tough enough to beat when Russell Westbrook and Paul George are rolling. But when their bench players are locked in, too, Oklahoma City can be impossible to stop.
Westbrook and George each scored 27 points and Dennis Schroder had 14 of his 21 in the fourth quarter in a 132-126 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.
Schroder led a group of Thunder reserves that outscored Minnesota’s second team 44-26, and he changed the game early in the fourth quarter by scoring the final 10 points in a 12-0 run that vaulted the Thunder into a 109-101 lead.
“He’s a starter anywhere else,” George said of Schroder, who started the last two seasons in Atlanta before joining the Thunder mostly in a reserve role. “He’s a big talent. It’s a pleasure for us, myself especially as a shooter, to have a guy come in, step in and lift the group when we need baskets the most.”
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The Western Conference playoff spots have all been secured. The Thunder hold the No. 6 spot in the standings, as they prepare to take on the third-ranked Rockets on Tuesday.
Rockets Want to Even Series
Houston (53-28) will look to even up the season series after falling to OKC back on Feb. 9, 117-112. MVP candidate James Harden led the Rockets with 42 points, but it wasn’t enough to beat George’s 45 points and Westbrook’s triple-double. Harden was 11 for 28 from the field, going 6 for 16 from 3-point range, and made 14 of 15 free throws.
The Rockets can, perhaps, put their current 1-2 record against the Thunder behind them considering they’ve been a more consistent team and prove that with a better record and higher ranking in the standings. They enter Tuesday on a six-game winning streak, as Tuesday’s game will be their last of the regular season before the playoffs.
Houston made history in Sunday’s 149-113 win over the Phoenix Suns. In a game that was decided by halftime, Houston’s prolific 3-point shooting added a little excitement in the last few minutes.
Harden scored 30 points in just three quarters as the Rockets broke their NBA record by making 27 3-pointers in Sunday night’s victory.
Eric Gordon led the 3-point brigade by tying a career-high with eight, Harden added five, PJ Tucker had four and Danuel House three.
Gary Clark tied the record with a little over three minutes to play, and Houston missed the next four before Austin Rivers broke it with 1:09 remaining. He crouched a bit and pointed at the Phoenix bench after the make as fans bellowed: "Threeeeeeeee!"
“There was no choice,” Rivers deadpanned. “The ball was coming to me.”
He said he didn’t realize they were close to breaking the record until he heard the crowd yelling at them to make more 3s.
I think it made it interesting, especially toward the end,” River said. “It made guys play for something else. When you’re up like 35, 40 points, that’s a lot of points.”
- Get more details: Houston at Oklahoma City Match-up Stats
Rockets at Thunder Prediction 4/9/18
These two teams are both heading to the postseason. The Thunder at home here seems to be what would be the best bet. It's such a small margin, taking the Thunder to win is the way to go.