Tip-off: 0200, 03/09/2020
Stadium: AdventHealth Arena
TV: Sky Sports
Houston and Oklahoma City clash in a best-of-seven series finale in the NBA play-offs and we’re going for the Rockets to advance in Orlando.
The Thunder have rallied from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits in what has been a thrilling contest but may find James Harden too hot to handle in the decider.
We’re taking Evens for Houston to prevail by more than 5.5 points for our first Rockets vs Thunder prediction.
A Look At Houston Rockets’ Betting Odds
Houston seemed set to progress via a 4-2 victory when six points ahead with 3:40 left in Game 6, only for Russell Westbrook to commit two crucial turnovers in a 104-100 defeat.
“A lot of the mistakes that we’ve made in close games have been on us, to be honest,” lamented former Thunder superstar Westbrook.
“That’s a fix that we’ve got to be able to do to close the game out.”
Westbrook finished with seven turnovers overall, undoing the good work done by Harden, who posted 32 points.
Coming unstuck late on in close encounters has been an issue for Houston throughout this series, but when they win it tends to be in emphatic fashion.
A 114-80 Game 5 romp followed early victories by 15 and 13 points, so the feeling is that they still possess far more potential than their opponents.
Harden is on a mission to prove he can transfer his outstanding regular-season form to the knockout stages and Westbrook will be doubly determined to atone for his errors.
A Look At Oklahoma City Thunder’s Betting Odds
Thunder guard Chris Paul came alive in the fourth quarter to haunt his former club and delay the verdict on who will go on to face the LA Lakers.
He scored eight of their final 12 points to finish with a tally of 28 – and no turnovers.
“When it gets to clutch time, fourth quarter, some people are built for it, some people shy away from it,” Paul told TNT.
“Yes, it was the team I played for last year, but regardless, it’s gonna be the same energy no matter who it is.”
Danilo Gallinari provided strong support with 25 points and a gutsy defensive display kept Oklahoma City in contention long enough to test Houston’s nerves.
“We just wanted a chance,” cried a fired-up Paul as he left the court. “Game 7, anything can happen!”
However, with everything on the line, we’re expecting Houston to tighten up at the back and be much more clinical here.
Let’s finish off our Rockets vs Thunder betting tips by taking Evens for Oklahoma City to be kept to under 106.5 points.
THUNDER 104-100 ROCKETS
Previous head-to-head: Rockets 114-80 Thunder, Thunder 117-114 Rockets, Thunder 119-107 Rockets, Rockets 111-98 Thunder, Rockets 123-108 Thunder
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