Previewing Rockets-Thunder In OKC
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The Thunder made 42-of-80 (.525) from the field in a 109-94 win over the Rockets atOklahoma City(1/6/12). Oklahoma Cityovercame a 12-point, third-quarter deficit for a 98-95 win atHouston(1/7/12). The Rockets held off a second-half rally by the Thunder for a 96-95 victory vs. Oklahoma City (2/15/12).
The Last Time: The Rockets, who led by as much as 18 points, held off a second-half Thunder rally for a 96-95 win (2/15/12), snapping a four-game losing streak to Oklahoma City. Kevin Martin scored 32 points (10-18 FG, 4-7 3FG, 8-8 FT), hitting the game-deciding two free throws with 23.6 seconds left in the contest. Luis Scola had 15 points (7-16 FG), while Chandler Parsons registered 14 points (6-12 FG), seven boards and two steals. Samuel Dalembert grabbed 11 of his 12 rebounds in the first half. Kyle Lowry recorded 11 points (5-12 FG) and a game-high nine assists. Kevin Durant had 33 points (12-26 FG, 7-7 FT) and eight rebounds, marking his best point total ever against the Rockets (previous high: 32 on 12/15/10). Russell Westbrook totaled 26 points (11-25 FG), eight boards and four assists. James Harden added 17 points (3-8 3FG) off the bench. Overall,Houston limitedOklahoma City to 13 first-quarter points. The Rockets also forced 22 Thunder turnovers off a season-best 13 steals.
Series Notes: Houston hit 14-of-15 (.933) free throws vs. Oklahoma City (1/7/12) … with a 118-112 loss last year vs. Oklahoma City (1/12/11), Houston ended an 11-game home winning streak over the Thunder, which marked the Oklahoma City franchise’s first win in Houston since an 87-85 victory on Feb. 22, 2005 … Houston’s longest winning streak against any single opponent is 13 straight, including 13 in a row over the Oklahoma City franchise (1/3/07-12/19/09) … Goran Dragic netted 20 points (7-10 FG) with a game-high eight assists vs. Oklahoma City (1/7/12) … Dragic started at point guard at Oklahoma City (1/6/12), registering 10 points (4-10 FG) and a career-high-tying 11 assists with no turnovers … Luis Scola, who had 31 points (13-24 FG) and 11 boards last year vs. Oklahoma City (1/12/11), recorded 28 points (12-28 FG) vs. Oklahoma City (1/7/12) … Samuel Dalembert and Chandler Parsons made their first starts with the Rockets vs. Oklahoma City (1/7/12) … Oklahoma City has four .500-plus shooting games in the last seven meetings … Kevin Durant has scored 25-plus points 13 times against the Rockets in his career, including three 30-point outings.
Connections: Rockets Assistant Coach Kelvin Sampson spent 12 seasons at Oklahoma University (1994-2006) where he earned two National Coach of the Year Awards (AP in 1995 and NABC in 2002) … Oklahoma City Head Coach Scott Brooks played three seasons with the Rockets (1992-95) … Mark Bryant, an assistant coach with the Thunder, also played one season with Houston (1995-96) … Thunder center Kendrick Perkins was a standout player at Beaumont’s Clifton J. Ozen High School.
Houston lost 118-107 at Cleveland (3/11/12) despite shooting 44-of-86 (.512) from the field. The Rockets lost for the first time this season when shooting .500 or better after winning the first five such games. Houston was 13-0 last season when hitting .500. The Rockets set also 2011-12 season highs in field goals made (46-82 FG) and field goal percentage (.561) in a 112-106 win at New Jersey (3/10/12).
Luis Scola scored a season-high 30 points (15-25 FG) to go with eight boards at Cleveland (3/11/12). It marked Scola’s first 30-point game since an even 30 last season at Dallas (1/27/11). Scola actually netted 14 first-quarter points (7-9 FG) against the Cavaliers, matching his best opening quarter of the season (14 in first on 1/11/12 at San Antonio). Overall, Scola has nine 20-point outings in 2011-12.
Goran Dragic, who has started at point guard the last two games (3/10/12-3/11/12), is currently averaging 18.3 points and 8.8 assists in his four total starts this season. He netted his best point total as a member of the Rockets with 23 points (8-14 FG, 4-7 3FG) at New Jersey (3/10/12) to go with a game-high eight assists. Dragic followed that up with 20 points (7-11 FG, 4-5 3FG) and eight assists at Cleveland (3/11/12), marking his third 20-point outing of 2011-12.