Thunder vs. Rockets Preview

Tuesday, March 22nd 2016, 6:10 am
By: News 9

The Thunder (48-22) are back in town on Tuesday to host the middling Houston Rockets (35-35). Tip time from Chesapeake Arena is set for 7 p.m.

Here are a few things to watch for:

1. Will Harden suit up?

James Harden is criticized for a lot of things, but never his durability. Harden hasn't missed a single game to injury during the past two seasons, but that streak could be in danger. The former Thunder star rolled his ankle in Houston's loss to Atlanta on Saturday.

Reports from Houston indicate that Harden will make a decision after shootaround, but don't bet on him sitting.

Harden is averaging 28.6 points and 7.2 assists per game this season.

2. Dwight's sticky situation

Things are never boring with this guy. Dwight Howard, Houston's mercurial All-Star center, was caught applying a sticky substance to the basketball during Saturday's loss to Atlanta. Hawks' forward Paul Millsap could be seen on video receiving the ball from an official and immediately recognizing something wrong. Millsap, who was lined up to shoot a free throw, tossed the ball back to the official and refused to shoot it. The game was delayed as officials investigated the substance.

Rockets' coach J.B. Bickerstaff says that he hasn't been notified of any disciplinary action and the NBA says the incident is under investigation.

3. Microwave basketball

A little more than a week ago, the Thunder looked horrid. Folks were ready to write them off completely after their eighth loss in 12 contests. Since, OKC is 4-0 with three road wins and an average margin of victory of 18.3 points. The Thunder seem to have become hot in an instant and just in time for the stretch run of the season. We'll see if they can keep it up as the Rockets' soap opera rolls into town.