Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:
98 -
Team 1 2 3 4
OKC 23 25 24 26
HOU 21 25 26 23

Thunder-Rockets Preview

AP - Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder's stretch of three games in three nights got off to a solid start.

They'll look to keep it going against the same struggling opponent.

Oklahoma City visits the Houston Rockets as the teams conclude a home-and-home series Saturday night.

The Thunder (6-2) got back on track after back-to-back defeats, beating Houston 109-94 on Friday. They fell 100-87 to Dallas on Tuesday and 103-93 to Portland the following night after beginning the season with five straight wins.

Oklahoma City, which hosts San Antonio on Sunday, got a break to help lessen its fatigue Friday when it was able to rest its starters in the fourth quarter after taking a 21-point lead. The Thunder also led by 17 by halftime and forced 12 turnovers.

"I don't know how we're going to play for three games but to start off like this, first of all with the confidence, it helps a lot,'' said Thabo Sefolosha, who started but went scoreless in 20 minutes. "And it's good that we got some of the main guys to get some rest.''

Kevin Durant scored 26 points in 28 minutes and Russell Westbrook finished with 15 in 25. James Harden had 23 points and shot 8 of 11 off the bench.

"(The rest) was important to us since we've got these back-to-back-to-back, then a day off, then another back-to-back,'' Durant said.

It also doesn't hurt that the Thunder are beginning their grueling stretch with back-to-back games against the Rockets (2-5), who have lost three straight.

Kevin Martin and Terrence Williams each scored 13 points for Houston in Friday's defeat.

"Right now, we're not playing very well," coach Kevin McHale said. "We're digging ourselves a bit of a hole but we're going to have to dig our way out. The only people that are going to dig themselves out are the players, and I told them that.''

Playing without Kyle Lowry didn't help, and McHale isn't sure if his starting guard will play Saturday.

Lowry, averaging 15.3 points and 10.0 assists, sat out with an apparent foot injury. However, he also was charged with battery Friday for allegedly assaulting a female referee by throwing a ball at her in a pickup game between NBA players in Las Vegas during the lockout.

Goran Dragic replaced Lowry in the starting lineup and finished with 10 points and 11 assists.

Power forward Luis Scola scored 10 points, but shot 5 of 14 and had only two rebounds.

"So far, it's not working. It's early in the season but we've got a lot of work to do,'' Scola said. "We just need to regroup and go back to work.''

The Thunder have won five of the last six in this series, though the Rockets had won 11 straight meetings in Houston prior to Oklahoma City's 118-112 victory last Jan. 12.

Durant scored 30 points in that contest for the Thunder, while Scola had 31 and 11 rebounds to lead the Rockets.

Win cash prizes, pick a fantasy roster for just one day, join in minutes!

Learn how to play

Contest Entries Entry Fee Prizes Starts (EDT)
NBA $16K Tournament [$1.5K to 1st] 2202/3637 $5 $16000 Today 7:00 PM Enter
NBA $10K Tournament [$1K to 1st] 295/455 $25 $10000 Today 7:00 PM Enter
NBA $3K Tournament [Single Entry] 1006/1705 $2 $3000 Today 7:00 PM Enter
View Comments (0)