Paris Lawson

By Paris Lawson | Broadcast and Digital Reporter

Preview: Thunder vs. Rockets - 11/17

Oklahoma City looks to conclude its four game homestand on a high note with a rematch against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. Coming off a pair of losses to veteran teams in Brooklyn and Miami, the Thunder will extract the lessons from those games and work to apply them to its matchup against the young Rockets.

What to Watch

Rookies at the Ready
Expect to see a lot of young talent on the floor between the Thunder and the Rockets on Wednesday. Thunder rookies Josh Giddey and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl both rank top five among all rookies in multiple categories including rebounds per game where they sit third and fourth respectively.

Meanwhile, Houston’s No. 2 overall pick Jalen Green and first round pick Alperen Sengün have also made their marks on rookie ranks this season. Green averages the fourth-most points per game (13.9) while Sengün averages the most steals of any rookie in the league with 1.4 per night.

Dort’s on a Roll
After logging 20 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field against the Heat, Thunder guard Lu Dort has now logged four consecutive games scoring 20 or more points – the longest streak in his career.

After a slow start to the season in terms of scoring, Dort has averaged 22.3 points over the Thunder’s last four games while shooting 56.9 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from the 3-point line.

“For me, it’s just to always stay confident,” said Dort on the key to his continued offensive growth. “Just play hard. I feel like I’ve been working really hard on my offensive side, so I’ve just got to be confident enough to take the right shots and make the right play.”

Watch for Wood
In the Thunder’s last game against Houston back in October, Rockets’ forward Christian Wood led all scorers with 31 points to go alongside 14 rebounds. So far this season, Wood is one of just eight players in the league averaging 15 points and 10 or more rebounds per night. Keep an eye on how the Thunder works to limit Houston’s versatile big man on Wednesday.


Despite its loss to Miami on Monday, the Thunder logged multiple milestones both collectively and individually. As a team, the Thunder swatted away a season-high 10 blocks, dished out a season-high 26 assists and also forced a season-high 19 turnovers.

Darius Bazley led the way in the blocks category as he denied a career-high five shots against the Heat. Offensively, rookie Jeremiah Robinson-Earl recorded a new career high with 16 points while cashing in a career-high four made 3-pointers.


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on the takeaways from the loss to Miami…
“Every night is a learning experience, win, lose or draw. Nobody's perfect. No team is perfect, and just like when we win or when we lose big or when we lose small, we're gonna learn from the experience and this is a game we'll learn from as well.”

Scouting Report

After falling to Memphis 136-102 on Monday, the Rockets enter Oklahoma City riding a 12-game losing streak. Wednesday’s matchup will mark the second meeting between the Thunder and the Rockets this season with Houston taking the first matchup 124-91 back in October.

The young Rockets are led in scoring by Christian Wood who averages 16.5 points and 10.9 rebounds per night. No. 2 overall pick Jalen Green and veteran Eric Gordon follow closely behind with 13 points each per game. As a group, Houston plays at the fastest pace in the league averaging 102.92 possessions per game, however, roughly 18 percent of their possessions have resulted in turnovers – the highest rate in the league.


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