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NBA Sunday on Sky Sports: Rockets @ Blazers followed by Thunder @ Wizards

Thursday 12 March 2020 09:17, UK

Russell Westbrook put in a vintage display against the Minnesota Timberwolves

Following the NBA's decision to suspend the 2019-20 season, these games will not be played and therefore not broadcast.

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As the home of the NBA in the UK, Sky Sports will broadcast 134 live regular-season games, including a record 48 in the weekend primetime slots.

That slate continues this weekend...

Houston Rockets @ Portland Trail Blazers, Sunday 7.30pm, Sky Sports Arena

ROCKETS @ TRAIL BLAZERS
Image: Watch Houston Rockets @ Portland Trail Blazers live on Sky Sports Arena on Sunday at 7.30pm

James Harden, Russell Westbrook and the Rockets continue their 'small ball' experiment with a visit to the Pacific North West to face the Trail Blazers.

The Rockets (40-24) sit sixth in the Western Conference with their eyes fixed on climbing the standings to guarantee the best possible playoff seeding.

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After trading their center Clint Capela in February, the Houston roster was bereft of size and embraced an even heavier than before reliance on three-point shooting and uses the additional interior spacing to enable Westbrook to drive to the rim with greater effect.

The ploy brought initial success as the Rockets reeled off six straight wins. But they have since lost four of their past five games.

More on this story

Russell Westbrook #0 of the Houston Rockets handles the ball against Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers 0:30
Watch the Houston Rockets take on the Portland Trail Blazers in an NBA Sundays Primetime clash, live on Sky Sports Arena from 7.30pm

The Trail Blazers (29-37) will hope to take advantage of that loss of form as they bid to fight their way back into the playoff picture. Currently ninth in the West and three-and-a-half games back from the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies, Portland need every win they can get. The return of Damian Lillard following a six-game injury absence will certainly boost their hopes. Center Jusuf Nurkic, who has missed a full year of action after suffering a serious leg injury, could make his return against Houston.

Oklahoma City Thunder @ Washington Wizards, Sunday 10pm, Sky Sports Arena

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chris Paul in action for the Oklahoma City Thunder
Image: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chris Paul in action for the Oklahoma City Thunder

The unexpected success story of the 2019-20 season added another chapter this week as the Oklahoma City Thunder, written off after trading away Paul George and Russell Westbrook in the offseason, rose to fifth place in the West.

The leadership and experience of point guard Chris Paul, acquired from Houston in the Westbrook trade, has been key to their success. The same is true of young star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who arrived in OKC in the trade that sent George to the LA Clippers.

Chris Paul celebrates a play during the Thunder's overtime win over the Nets 2:01
Chris Paul talks about adapting to life in Oklahoma City and the impact he has made on his Thunder team-mates and the franchise as a whole

The Thunder have won eight of their last 10 games and are aiming to catch and pass the Utah Jazz for the fourth seed that will guarantee them homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

The Wizards (24-40) harbour faint playoff hopes of their own but they will need a huge collapse from the Brooklyn Nets or Orlando Magic to steal the Eastern Conference's eighth seed.

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No one has told Bradley Beal that. The shooting guard, fired up after being snubbed for All-Star selection, has been on a scoring tear. At 30.6 points per game, he is the NBA's second-leading scorer, behind James Harden. In February, he averaged a phenomenal 36.5 points per game.

Thanks to Beal, the Wizards have no issues on offense. Their problems begin and end on defense. They give up 115.0 points per 100 possessions, the worst defensive rating in the league.

How to watch

Sky subscribers

TV: Full-season coverage is available across Sky Sports Action, Sky Sports Arena, Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports News while Sky Sports Mix (Channel 145) - available to all Sky TV customers at no extra cost - will show one match every Saturday.

Sky Go: Subscribers can watch the action wherever they are as it happens. Sign in to Sky Go to watch on your desktop computer or laptop or download the app.

Non-Sky subscribers

NOW TV: Watch the action from £7.99 - with no contract required. The NOW TV app is available on more than 60 devices, including TV, mobile phones, and games consoles, and you can register up to four of them.

Sky Sports is the home of the NBA in the UK with live coverage throughout the week, including at least three showcase games across the weekend.

Want to watch the NBA but don't have Sky Sports? Get the Sky Sports Action and Arena pack, click here.