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Christmas Game thread: Rockets vs. Thunder

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Here we go.

NBA: Playoffs-Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Rockets (25-6) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (18-15), Dec. 25, 2017, 7:00 p.m. CDT

Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

TV: ABC

Radio: KBME 790 AM/KEYH 850 AM (Spanish)/KNTE 101.7 FM (Spanish)/Streaming on Rockets App

Online: Rockets App

Thunder SBNation Blog: Welcome to Loud City


We meet again.

The last time the Rockets and Thunder played in a competitive game was April 25, exactly eight months ago, where the Rockets eliminated the Thunder from the postseason. A lot has changed in these eight months.

Paul George joined the Thunder, and Carmelo Anthony, after a pursuit from the Rockets, also joined Oklahoma City right before training camp.

The Rockets added their pieces to try and better their mark from last year as they brought in Chris Paul, P.J. Tucker, and Luc Mbah a Moute. However, only Tucker will play tonight as the other two are out with injuries.

Many facets in this matchup are different, but many still remain the same.

Russell Westbrook is still in OKC and James Harden is still a Rocket. These two will be the feature matchup and is the precise reason why the two teams are meeting on the biggest of NBA stages: Christmas Day.

However, tonight’s matchup will be won by the supporting cast that supports their superstar the best. Harden scored 51 in each of the last two games, both of which have been losses.

OKC has somewhat of an advantage tonight given that Melo and PG will play. If the three of them find a way to support each other, they have the chance to beat any team in the league. They have not figured it out yet though, which explains their 18-15 record.

CP3 will not play, and that will be a blow for the Rockets, but what could be the dagger is the status of Clint Capela. He’s questionable with a sore right heel, but if he plays, he will keep the Rockets in the ballgame.

Projected Starting Lineups

Houston Rockets Oklahoma City Thunder
Houston Rockets Oklahoma City Thunder
James Harden Russell Westbrook
Eric Gordon Andre Roberson
Trevor Ariza Paul George
Ryan Anderson Carmelo Anthony
Clint Capela Steven Adams

Check us out on Facebook Live for the halftime report and AK’s preview.

Merry Christmas and Go Rockets!