Rockets News

Rockets vs. Thunder preview: Christmas hoops in OKC

By Eric Magana
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 22: James Harden
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 22: James Harden /

The Houston Rockets prepare to spend Christmas Day in Oklahoma City for a date with the Thunder.

While millions across the country and around the world celebrate Christmas at home, 19,000 fans prepare to flood Chesapeake Energy Arena in OKC tonight. The Rockets (25-6) make a holiday stop in Oklahoma City as they take on the Thunder (18-15) tonight.

There are headlines all over the place here. James Harden vs. Russell Westbrook, a potential playoff matchup, and which Thunder team will show up tonight. In all likelihood, it will be pure business on the part of the Rockets. While the team is dealing with injuries, Houston will look to end a quick two-game skid after losses to the Clippers and Lakers.

Meanwhile, OKC seems to have turned a corner as they sit three games above .500. That’s their best record since they were 4-3 earlier in the season. What is crazy about the Thunder, for all of their great defensive habits, it has been crunch time scoring that has plagued them. Now, they must face one of the top offensive teams in the league. Not only will their defense be tested, but their offense will also have to keep up with the barrage of 3-pointers coming their way.

Let’s take a look at the injury report:

Injury Report

There are no injuries on the part of the Thunder. However, the Rockets come in a bit banged up.

Luc Mbah a Moute continues to recover from his shoulder injury, Clint Capela is still day-to-day, and Chris Paul is doubtful with the abductor injury suffered against the Lakers.

Starting Lineups


James Harden/Eric Gordon/Trevor Ariza/Ryan Anderson/Nene


Russell Westbrook/Andre Roberson/Paul George/Carmelo Anthony/Steven Adams

The Rockets and Warriors both play today and will be going back and forth for the top spot in the West. However, tonight’s task is hard enough against the OK3.

We’re looking forward to a great matchup tonight! From all of us at Space City Scoop, Merry Christmas, happy hoops, and go Rockets!

Next: A few Christmas wishes for the Houston Rockets