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NBA Lines - Thunder Striking Thrice

Posted by Elio Masi on 3/12/2012 12:36:20 AM

NBA Lines – Thunder Striking Thrice?

The Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets will both be looking to close out their NBA lines season series on a winning note Tuesday night. With Oklahoma leading the series two games to one, the Thunder will look to take the season series with home court advantage on their side.

(32-9) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (22-19) Houston Rockets
Live from: Chesapeake Energy Arena – OK
Tipoff: 8:00 PM ET Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Broadcast: FSH, FSOK, KILT, WWLS

''Honey, They're Home''

The Thunder have been one of the best teams in the NBA lines this season. They sit first in the West and second in the league, and have been consistently good throughout the 2012 campaign. Although they currently have the best road record in the West at 14-7, it is on home court that they truly flourish. They hold a 18-2 record when playing at the Chesapeake Energy Arena and have looked unbeatable on most of those nights. They are currently third in the league in points per game with 102.4 and it is how they've won games. With their defense forfeiting 96.2 points per game, they've had no choice but to turn each game into a shootout. They've gone 8-2 in their last 10 and are coming off of a rare home loss against Cleveland on Friday, followed by a NBA lines win Saturday against Charlotte.

.500 Basketball

Houston, on the other hand, has struggled a little as of late. They've been wildly inconsistent in their past 10 games and have a four-game win streak followed by a five-game losing streak to show for it. It appears that they've had trouble staying focused in many of their games and their defensive breakdowns have begun to cost them. Their defense ranks 21st in the league, giving up an average of 97.3 points per game, a margin the Rockets have struggled to overcome in many of their games. They have, however, won a staggering 63 straight as a franchise when capable of shooting above 55 percent from the floor. This proves that they win games through their offense and need to try and get some clear shots off when they are given the chance.

That's a Wrap?

The Thunder currently lead the Rockets 2-1 in the season series. Despite Oklahoma beating Houston by 15 points in their first meeting of the season, 3 or fewer points have settled their last two games. Houston managed to come out with a win on February 15th by capitalizing on a foul late in the game and having Oklahoma miss on a rebound in the final moments. The Rockets won 96-95 in what was a hard fought battle.

''Durantula'' Pitching In

Look for Kevin Durant to have another huge NBA lines night. He's averaged 28.7 points per game against Houston this season and he had a 33-point performance last time around. It wouldn't be surprising for him to rack up 30+ points yet again against the Rockets. Westbrook has also been solid for the Thunder this season. He currently ranks second in points per game on Oklahoma's roster and has averaged 25.4 points per game in his last ten. The 23-year-old has elevated his game as of late and is having a career year. He'll be looking to add to his season totals in a big way against Houston on Tuesday night.

Unsung Heroes

Although Houston doesn't have any superstars, they do have a few players who've managed to play to the best of their abilities for them. Kevin Martin, Kyle Lowry and Luis Scola have carried their team throughout the entire NBA lines season and will need to continue to do so if they want to make the playoffs. With Lowly out 2-4 weeks due to a bacterial infection, Martin and Scola will need to step their game up in order to keep Houston in the playoff hunt. Martin has been good against the Thunder this year, averaging 20.3 points per game in the series. If Houston's going to tie the season series, he'll have to be their unsung hero.

Elio's Edge

An 18-2 home record is a little too hard to overcome, especially without the presence of Kyle Lowry. As Chase Budinger - small forward for Houston - said regarding Lowry's injury, ''he's definitely our leader and our go-to player on the team. Missing him for the next month or so is going to hurt us very much.'' Houston will be lucky if they keep the game within ten points, especially considering how good Oklahoma's been recently. I'm predicting a 104-93 victory for the Thunder in what should be a big game from Oklahoma's Kevin Durant.


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