NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, January 16th (All times Eastern)
Oklahoma City Thunder (28-10) at Houston Rockets (26-14), 9:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder will visit the Houston Rockets Thursday at the Toyota Center.
Durant has scored 30 or more points in his last four games, averaging 37.0 points per game in that time, and leads the NBA with 29.8 ppg. He shook off a wrist injury to post 37 points on 15-of-28 shooting in Tuesday's 90-87 road loss against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Jeremy Lamb scored 22 points, Reggie Jackson had 16 and Thabo Sefolosha added 13 for the Thunder, who have lost three of their last four games and dropped to 12-7 away from this season.
Courtney Lee scored a season-high 24 points for the Grizzlies.
"We didn't do a good job of starting the game off on him," Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said of his team's defense on Lee. "Throughout the game, he sprinkled in some big shots. We can't afford for that to happen."
The Thunder will play three straight at home after visiting Houston.
Houston will play its next five games at home versus Oklahoma City, Milwaukee, Portland, Sacramento and Memphis, and is 15-5 as the host.
The Rockets have won three in a row and five of six games, including Wednesday's 103-100 victory at New Orleans in the finale of a four-game road trip (3-1). James Harden had 26 points and Terrence Jones added 25 for the Rockets, who shot 51.4 percent from the floor.
Harden's jumper with 28 seconds to go put Houston on top for good.
"He's our closer so he did what closers do, he closed and we needed it," Houston head coach Kevin McHale said of Harden.
Chandler Parsons had 17 points and Jeremy Lin added 13 in the win. Dwight Howard chipped in 12 points and 11 rebounds despite battling foul trouble throughout the game.
Houston dropped a 117-86 decision at Oklahoma City on Dec. 29, as Durant scored 33 points to lead the Thunder. The Thunder have won seven of 10 matchups with Houston, which is 13-3 in the last 16 meetings as the host in this series.
01/16 10:53:57 ET