OKC Thunder versus Houston Rockets: first round schedule details

JANUARY 20: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the OKC Thunder drives to the basket as Danuel House Jr. #4 of the Houston Rockets defends him (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
JANUARY 20: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the OKC Thunder drives to the basket as Danuel House Jr. #4 of the Houston Rockets defends him (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

The OKC Thunder and Houston Rockets series beginning on Tuesday, August 18. Full series details below.

The past two days provided clarity for the eight playoff series with the OKC Thunder set to play the Houston Rockets. Four teams played Friday locking in seeds for all but the final berth in the West.

The finalists for the play-in tournament are the Blazers and Grizzlies who’ll tipoff Saturday. If Portland wins they’ll be the eighth seed but if Memphis wins they’ll force a second game to be played Sunday with the winner claiming the right to appear in the bubble postseason. The fully updated ranking schedule with game-winners and seeding records can be viewed here.

Despite needing a day or two to finalize the West bracket the NBA proceeded with sending out schedules. That’s the benefit of being in the ESPN Wide World of Sports, Walt Disney World bubble. All the games will be played in one of the two arenas and since there is no traveling the games will come fast and furious.

The bracket with teams in the two-seven and three-six series will begin on Monday. August 17th. The OKC Thunder is in the second bracket with teams in the one-eight, four-five series which begins on Tuesday, August 18th.

With travel being unnecessary, all teams will play every other day until one club wins four games to advance to the conference semi-finals.

OKC Thunder – Houston Rockets first-round schedule

The schedule functions primary around four start times:

  • The first game of each day: 1:00 or 1:30 p.m EST
  • Game 2: 3:30 or 4:00 p.m. EST
  • Game 3: 6:00 or 6:30 p.m. EST
  • Final game each day: 9:00 p.m. EST

More from Thunderous Intentions

Start times lean toward Eastern Conference teams playing the earlier matches and the Western Conference or ‘big market’ teams playing later. The Bucks and Raptors finished the season ranked as the highest seeds both in the East and league-wide by virtue of Toronto passing LA’s win total.

Unfortunately for members of their fan bases who work during the week, they’ll need to PVR/DVR the games since 11 of 14 of their games will play in the first or second, time slot. Not surprisingly the sponsor adored LA duo take 13 of the 14 – 9:00 p.m. prime air times. For those interested in viewing the full schedule for all teams click this link of Mark Stein’s tweet.

The majority of the OKC Thunder games are in the second and third, time slots.

Specifically here are the details for the OKC Thunder versus Houston Rockets Game one through  four including date, start time, arena and TV networks airing the game:

  • Game 1: Tuesday, August, 18th at 6:30 p.m EST on TNT/R  (HP, Field House Arena)
  • Game 2: Thursday, August, 20 at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN (AdventHealth Arena)
  • Game 3: Saturday, August, 22 at 6:00 p.m. on ESPN/R  (HP, Field House Arena)
  • Game 4: Monday, August, 24 at 4:00 p.m. on TNT


  • All the above times are listed in Eastern Standard time – – Central Time is one hour earlier, for example, a 6:00 p.m. ET game would air at 5:00 p.m. CT.
  • The last three games of the series (if necessary would occur on August, 26th, 28th and 30th. Start times aren’t listed but the series is posted in the third time slot for each of those dates. Presumably, that means all three would air at 6:00 or 6:30 p.m. ET (5:00 or 5:30 p.m. CT).

Of all the first-round series, this Thunder-Rockets should be the most compelling both from a competitive and dramatic standpoint.

As a competitor Chris Paul rarely needs inspiration, but facing the team who traded him days after telling him he specifically wasn’t going to the OKC Thunder will add some spice. Unfortunately, as per our recent article, former beloved superstar Russell Westbrook is expected to miss “a few” games at the start of the series.

We’ll dive deeper into the series with previews, statistics, matchups, and other goodies leading up to Tuesday.

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