NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 7th (All times eastern)
Oklahoma City Thunder (6-2) at Houston Rockets (2-5), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder were able to right the ship last time out and shoot for an encore performance tonight against the Houston Rockets in the back end of a home-and-home set.
The Thunder had dropped consecutive games since a 5-0 start and claimed a 109-94 victory over the Rockets on Friday in OKC behind a game-high 26 points from Durant and 23 points out of James Harden.
Russell Westbrook added 15 points and five assists for the Thunder, who only trailed when Houston scored the first basket of the contest. Serge Ibaka contributed 11 points and nine rebounds.
"A good win for us," said Thunder head coach Scott Brooks. "Defensively we were really good and Kevin had one of his best all-around games."
Oklahoma City will play six of its next eight games on the road. It is currently tied with Denver for the Northwest Division lead.
Houston lost all three tests of its recent road trip and is only 2-5 early on this season. In last night's loss to the Thunder, Terrence Williams and Kevin Martin each scored 13 for the Rockets, while Goran Dragic contributed 10 points and dished out 11 assists in defeat.
Rockets guard Kyle Lowry, who has a bruised foot, missed the game on the same day he learned he was being charged with misdemeanor battery for an incident after a pick-up game in Las Vegas last year. Guard Courtney Lee also missed the game with a strained calf.
"Right now we're not playing very well and we're digging ourselves a bit of a hole and we're going to have to dig our way out," said Rockets head coach Kevin McHale. "The only people who can dig them out is the players and I told them that, so we just have to keep on battling and just keep on fighting away.
"Right now we can't look at anything else besides our effort and our effort's gotta improve every single night."
The Rockets, who fell to 0-5 away from Space City, will aim for their third straight win at home Saturday.
Oklahoma City has won three straight and five of the last six meetings with Houston. The Thunder halted an 11-game road losing streak to the Rockets with a 118-112 triumph on Jan. 12, 2011. That was OKC's first road win against Houston since Feb. 22, 2005 -- an 87-85 win.
01/07 10:49:17 ET