Rockets to cook up much-needed W vs. OKC?

Rockets to cook up much-needed W vs. OKC?

Houston is beginning to grasp at strings with respect to its playoff prospects. Will a meeting with one of the Western Conference’s true titans actually help reverse the tide?

Needing a victory in the worst way, the Rockets host Oklahoma City at 3:30 p.m. ET. Oddsmakers at online sports book BetDSI prefer the current No. 3 seed as a 3-point favorite. As for the over/under total, it sits at 221.5.

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Losers of seven of 11 games, J.B. Bicksterstaff’s players now reside in ninth place in the West. They held a nine-point lead over Chicago entering Thursday’s fourth quarter – and proceeded to cough it up with putrid shooting down the stretch. This is a schizophrenic crew, too, which somehow knocks off Cleveland and Toronto while falling short vs. the Bulls, Jazz and Pacers.

Billy Donovan’s troops aren’t infallible, but they certainly know how to hit the accelerator in the waning weeks of the regular season. OKC edged the fourth-place Clippers two nights ago, 119-117, thanks to Kevin Durant’s 31 points and a Russell Westbrook double-double. Westbrook also delights in running into the Rockets, having logged triple-doubles in three of the past four clashes.

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Still, don’t underestimate James Harden’s penchant for utterly exploding against his former organization. The Houston shooting guard’s averaging 32.3 points in six carer home contests vs. the Thunder. Four of the Rockets’ last five games have been decided by one possession, too.

SUNDAY NBA FREE PICK: ROCKETS +3

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