HOUSTON, Sporting Alert – Russell Westbrook and James Harden, two of the top early candidates in the NBA MVP title race, will collide on Thursday night when the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets face-off at Toyota Center live on TNT Overtime at 8:00 p.m. ET.
WESTBROOK V HARDEN
Westbrook, who is averaging a triple-double this season, leads the NBA in scoring at 30.9 points per game, while Harden, his former teammate in Oklahoma City, sits fourth at 28.4.
Harden, though, is ahead in the assist per game column, with the Houston guard leads the lead with 11.9 helpers per contest.
Westbrook is second on the list with 10.5.
The Rockets (27-9) have won five straight games and are coming off a 101-91 victory over the Wizards on Monday night.
In the win at the top of the week, Eric Gordon scored 31 points and Harden had 23 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for his third successive triple-double.
Westbrook scored 33 points and added 15 rebounds and eight assists, in Wednesday’s 123-112 loss to the Charlotte Hornets.
It was the second defeat in a row for Oklahoma City, with Westbrook struggling to shoot the ball as well.
The energetic guard scored 30 points for the second straight game but combined to shoot 19 of 59 for only 32.2 percent through those two outings.
Oklahoma City (21-15), which was also beaten 98-94 by the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night, has lost three of the last four games.
SERIES MEETING TIES AT 1-1
It will be the third meeting between the Thunder and the Rockets this season with the four-game series tied at 1-1.
Westbrook scored 30 points in a 105-103 victory for OKC on Nov. 16, but Houston returned the favour on Dec. 9 with a 102-99 win.
Meanwhile, besides Westbrook, Oklahoma City will look to get contributions from Victor Oladipo, who is averaging 16.2 points per game, Enes Kanter with 13.6 and Steven Adams at 12.2.
For the Rockets, Gordon is scoring 17.7 points per game, Ryan Anderson is at 14.1, Trevor Ariza is at 12.4, while Clint Capela is averaging 11.8.