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Thunder vs. Rockets Preview

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

The Thunder (35-13) is back from a snowy road trip to host the Houston Rockets (25-23) on Friday night at the Peake. Here are a few things to know:

1. Not the same ‘ol Rockets

Houston enters having won nine of its past 13 games. That doesn’t sound spectacular, and it’s not, but it’s a step in the right direction. Last year’s Western Conference No. 2 seed sat at 16-19 after a 121-103 throttling at the hands of the Spurs back on Jan. 2. A lot has changed this season for Houston. Coach Kevin McHale was fired after the disappointing start, newly-acquired point guard Ty Lawson was sent to the bench in lieu of Patrick Beverley, and Josh Smith is now back from his brief stint with the Clippers.

 2. But still the same ‘ol Rockets

The dysfunction in Houston continues as one of the NBA’s top faux-contenders inches closer to a rebuild than a title. The Rockets, traditionally poor at preventing points, are currently 27th in the league in points allowed per game at 106.1.

3. Bring an umbrella

The Thunder’s defense hasn’t exactly looked stellar lately, either. In fact, OKC has allowed at least 120 points in back-to-back games for the first time since 2009. The weather forecast calls for clear skies on Friday, but combine the Thunder’s woeful defense with Houston’s No. 4 scoring offense and you can bet that it’ll be raining inside Chesapeake Arena.

Tip is at 7 p.m. Stick with news9.com for full postgame coverage.

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