The Thunder plays just two games in an eight-day span, and they come back-to-back at Houston on Wednesday, followed by a home game against Orlando on Thursday.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks likes this week for the same reason any coach would — more practice time.
“Any time you can get good practice time in the middle of the season is great,” Brooks said after Monday's session.
Although Wednesday will mark the fourth (and final) time this season the Thunder plays Houston and OKC has yet to face Orlando, Brooks said preparation will center on the Rockets.
“It's all on Houston, then we'll worry about Orlando the next morning,” Brooks said of the 25-12 Magic, which has won nine straight games. “They're playing as well as anybody. They've got a lot of good players.”
Orlando also is playing back-to-back this week, with a game Wednesday at New Orleans before facing the Thunder.
A HOUSTON PROBLEM
The Sonics/Thunder franchise has lost 11 straight games in Houston. “Really? I didn't know that,” Brooks said.
In the Thunder's 99-98 loss at the Toyota Center earlier this season, Kevin Durant missed a potential game-winning 20-footer at the buzzer.
If Durant takes a game-winning shot Wednesday, chances are good he'll be on the mark. He is shooting 55.9 percent and averaging 30.2 points his last 10 games.