HOUSTON, TX — Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets will lock horns in a Christmas Day fixture at the Toyota Center.
The game, which tips off at 3:00 PM ET, will be live on ABC and streaming on WatchESPN.
Thanks to guard Russell Westbrook and Paul George, the Thunder (21-11) are off to a very positive start to the season and they will be aiming to take down the Rockets for the second time this season.
Oklahoma City won Game 1 in this regular season 98-80 last month at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City with George getting 20 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and six steals.
Westbrook missed the first matchup with his former team-mate James Harden.
Oklahoma City has won their last four games to climb to second place in the Western Conference, but ESPN’s Basketball Power Index is giving Harden and Rockets a 58.5 percent to win this one at the Toyota Center.
Harden, the defending regular season MVP, enters this encounter averaging 32.0 points per game and shooting nearly 45 percent from the field.
The Thunder (21-11) have established themselves as the NBA’s premier defensive team and, thanks to the stellar play of Paul George, have won six of their last four games to climb to third in the West.
Houston (17-15) has won four of the last five games and six in the last ten outings, but is only eighth in a tightly-contested Western Conference.
Starting point guard Chris Paul has been officially diagnosed with a Grade 2 hamstring strain and will miss the game.
Paul picked up the hamstring problem Thursday night in the defeat to the Miami Heat and the injury will keep the guard out for at least two weeks.
Christmas Day 2018 (Dec. 25)
Bucks vs. Knicks | Noon ET | ESPN, WatchESPN
Thunder vs. Rockets | 3 p.m. ET | ABC, WatchESPN
Sixers vs. Celtics | 5:30 p.m. ET | ABC, WatchESPN
Lakers vs. Warriors | 8 p.m. ET | ABC/ESPN, WatchESPN
Trail Blazers vs. Jazz | 10:30 p.m. ET | ESPN, WatchESPN