The OKC Thunder continue to rebuild their squad for next season and are 13th in the Western Conference with a 17-24 season record. The Houston Rockets, meanwhile, are right behind them in 14th position. Their season record stands at 11-29 this season.
Fixture: OKC Thunder vs Houston Rockets | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Sunday, March 21st, 2:00 PM ET (Monday, 11:30 PM IST)
Venue: Toyota Center, Houston, TX
OKC Thunder Preview
The OKC Thunder head into this contest on the back of two straight losses and will be eager to bounce back against the Houston Rockets. In their last game, the Thunder suffered a 93-116 loss against the Atlanta Hawks. Oklahoma conceded a huge first-half lead as they trailed the Hawks by 20 points going into the second.
The slow start by the OKC Thunder proved to be the turning point as they failed to recover and succumbed to their 24th loss of the season. The Thunder converted just 36.2% of their field-goal attempts and were also dominated in the paint, getting outrebounded 39-50 and outscored by 40-52.
Key Player - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been the best player on the OKC Thunder roster this season. He is averaging a career-high 23.5 points and 6.0 assists despite the team's struggles. He will once again be the key for the Thunder as they aim to get back to winning ways against a struggling Houston Rockets side.
The guard had an off-night in the last game and will be eager to perform better in this match. However, he was still the best player on the night for the OKC Thunder as he scored a team-high 19 points.
G - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, G - Luguentz Dort, F - Isaiah Roby, F - Aleksej Pokusevski, C - Al Horford
Houston Rockets Preview
The Houston Rockets had a tough few weeks recently but will be glad to have most of their main players back from injury. With the likes of John Wall, Victor Oladipo and Christian Wood all available to start, the Rockets have a great chance to clinch a rare win.
In their last game, the Houston Rockets lost 100-113 against the Detroit Pistons. All five starters scored in double-digits, while John Wall scored a team-high 21 points, with Oldadipo adding 19 and Wood contributing another 18 points to the team's total.
However, the Rockets will need their bench players to step up as well and will need to improve their shooting from beyond the arc to have a shot at winning this tie.
Key Player - John Wall
John Wall could be a force to reckon with if he stays fit in the next few weeks. With Christian Wood also available, he can be more efficient with his playmaking along with his scoring and the duo will look to help the Houston Rockets end the season with a respectable record.
Wall will be tasked with guarding Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who is the OKC Thunder's best player, for most of the match. If Wall can keep his counterpart quiet, the Rockets will fancy their chance of winning their first game since 4th February.
G - John Wall, G - Victor Oladipo, F - Danuel House, F - Jae'Sean Tate, C - Christian Wood
Thunder vs Rockets Match Prediction
The Houston Rockets, despite their 19-game skid, could emerge as the surprise winners as they did show glimpses of what they were capable of in their last game. With the OKC Thunder on a two-game skid, the Rockets will be looking at this tie as an ideal matchup to get their season back on track.
However, this will still be a close contest, and the OKC Thunder are more than capable of potentially handing the Rockets their 20th consecutive loss.
Where to watch Thunder vs Rockets?
Local coverage of the game will be available on AT&T Sportsnet - Southwest and Fox Sports Oklahoma. You can also live stream the same on NBA League Pass.