Nov 28, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) and Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) look at the scoreboard during the second half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Oklahoma City won 120-98. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

OKC Thunder (39-14) vs. Houston Rockets (29-26) Preview

The Oklahoma City Thunder will be back from All-Star Break for the first time tonight, on the road vs. the Houston Rockets.

This will be the third meeting between the Thunder and Rockets this season.

The Thunder beat the Rockets at Chesapeake Energy Arena 120-98 back on Nov. 28. That was the first game James Harden returned to OKC in another uniform and he really struggled shooting just 3-for-16 from the field and scoring 17 points.

Kevin Durant had 37 points, Serge Ibaka had 23 and Kevin Martin scored 17 off the bench.

The Thunder won again in Houston 124-94 on Dec. 29. Harden had 25 in that game but again struggled from the field going just 6-for-17.

Russell Westbrook had 28 to lead OKC. Durant had 26 and Martin again scored 17.

The Rockets steal wins against teams who aren’t ready to play their style. They can knock down a down of threes and push the tempo to an uncomfortable pace for a lot of teams.

The Thunder are always up for this game because of Harden. That feeling may be softened tonight since they’ve blown out Houston the first two games.

The Thunder will be without starting center Kendrick Perkins tonight who is out with a knee. Perkins has been the subject of some trade rumors lately so him missing this game seemed suspicious considering the deadline is tomorrow.

The trio of Durant, Westbrook and Harden were reunited on the same team for the first time since the trade at All-Star Weekend a few days ago in Houston. The Western Conference won that game and those three shared the floor together for a few minutes.

The Thunder came into the All-Star Break second in the Western Conference behind the San Antonio Spurs. OKC will be looking to finish the season strong and capture that No. 1 seed.

Tonight is the first step.

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Tags: Houston Rockets Oklahoma City Thunder

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