The NBA playoffs are here and throughout this week and next week in Orlando, we’ll get to see the Houston Rockets take on the Oklahoma City Thunder in a best-of-seven series to determine which team will advance to the semifinals. Follow our guide to watch the 2020 NBA playoffs online and get a Rockets vs Thunder live stream from wherever you are right now.
Rockets vs Thunder live stream
Game 1 of the Rockets vs Thunders is on Tuesday, August 18 and the best-of-seven series will last until at least game 4 on Monday, August 24. Games will be split up between a two week period in which the teams will play at all three NBA stadiums in Orlando with a potential game 7 set for Sunday, August 30. Full details of TV coverage and streaming options are below – catch all the action wherever you are and save up to 50% on ExpressVPN with this deal.
The Rockets enter the playoffs seed No. 4 in the Western Conference with 44 wins and 28 losses this season. However, the team is going into the first round with a three-game losing streak after being defeated by the Spurs, Pacers and 76ers in seeding games recently. Houston will also begin the series without its star point guard Russell Westbrook, who suffered a quad strain during the team’s loss to the Trail Blazers at the beginning of the month. Will the Rockets small-ball approach pay off in their series against the Thunder?
Oklahoma City are the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference, also with 44 wins and 28 losses this season. While The Thunder may have lost its game against the Clippers last Friday, the team did manage to defeat the Heat in a close 115-116 game on Wednesday thanks to a big comeback in the fourth quarter with power forward Mike Muscala sinking two three point shots to win the game. Thunder guard Luguentz Dort will be sitting out the first game due to a knee sprain but like Westbrook, he may rejoin his team later on in the series. Can the Thunder defeat the Rockets to move on to the semifinals?
The last time these two teams met on the court was back in January of this year when Oklahoma City defeated Houston 112-107 at home. The series will also be a bit awkward for both teams as it’s been a year since the Rockets traded Chris Paul to the Thunder for Russell Westbrook. At the time, Paul was in poor health while Westbrook was still going strong but now the opposite is true.
Whether you’re a Rockets fan in Houston, a Thunder fan in Oklahoma City or just want to tune in to see the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs, we’ve got you covered. Follow our guide below for details on how to watch the Rockets vs Mavericks tonight and get a top-quality NBA live stream from anywhere in the world.
How to watch NBA blackout games and stream basketball from abroad
You may not be able to watch the Rockets vs Thunder series using your usual cable TV or streaming service, due to coverage blackout rules in the US or international geo-blocking restrictions.
When this is is the case, the simplest and most reliable solution is to use a VPN service, which masks your IP address – and therefore your location – when you visit a website. On top of that, it gives you the ability to reroute your device’s internet connection through a server in a different country or state, thereby getting you access to coverage that might not otherwise be available – even though you probably pay for it.
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Rockets vs Thunder live stream: how to watch the NBA playoffs in the US
The Rockets vs Thunder series is being shown nationally with games on both ESPN and TNT. However, in something of a rarity, regional sports networks will also show the games simultaneously, meaning local fans can also watch the NBA playoffs on AT&T Sportsnet Southwest (Houston) and Fox Sports Oklahoma (Oklahoma).
If you’ve got cable, that means watching the series will be easy as in addition to those RSNs, you can also stream the Rockets vs Thunders online with ESPN and TNT but you will need to login with the details from your TV provider to do so.
If you don’t have cable, then you’ll need to consider signing up for an over-the-top streaming service to get access to these channels. Of these, Sling TV looks like the best option for most people.
A Sling Orange package costs just $30 per month and gets you both TNT and ESPN, meaning you’re covered for at least four out of the seven games – plus there’s currently a FREE Sling TV trial up for grabs, which means you’ll be able to watch a couple of Rockets vs Thunder games without paying a thing.
If you’re not happy about signing up for a Sling TV subscription just to watch sports, you can grab an NBA TV Pass for just $6.99 a month of $19.99 annually.
This will get you coverage of all nationally televised games for a great price – but it is subject to blackout restrictions for in-market games when they apply. However, you can get around this by grabbing a quality VPN if you live in the same area your favorite team is based and find yourself affected by this common problem.
Rockets vs Thunder live stream: how to watch NBA playoff basketball in the UK
If you’re in the UK, then Sky Sports is the home of everything NBA and is airing a game a night during the first round of the 2020 playoffs. The channel is operated by Sky, but you can also watch these channels with BT and Virgin Media TV packages.
For Rockets and Thunder fans, the network will show the first game of the series today on both Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Arena starting at 11.30pm. However, if you’re only going to be watching the NBA, there are more cost-effective options than signing up for the full commitment of a Sky contract.
A Now TV Sky Sports Pass offers all 11 Sky Sports channels to watch and can be cancelled at any time. As well as the NBA, there’s also loads of football, cricket, golf, and F1 action, with pricing that starts at £9.99 for a day’s use.
That’s fine if you just want to watch what’s on tonight, but we’d highly recommend the better value Monthly Pass for the majority of viewers. £33.99 gets you coverage of the rest of the season as well as early playoff games as well as the full month of content from other sports as well.
If you’re really only interested in an NBA live stream, you could also consider an NBA League Pass, which is an all-in-one subscription that offers every game left in the season on a range of devices. An annual pass comes in at £42.99, which is far better value than the £24.99 monthly pass, but you can also grab a seven-day free trial if you’re just looking to watch a Rockets vs Thunder live stream.
If you’re looking to watch Rockets vs Thunder from abroad, you might be geo-blocked out of some of these viewing options. Using a reliable VPN can easily get around this so you can get back to the game.
How to watch the Houston Rockets vs Oklahoma City Thunder: live stream the NBA playoffs in Canada
TNS is the place to turn for coverage of non-Raptors game NBA playoff basketball in Canada and the network has confirmed that it will air every game except for game 4 in the Rockets vs Thunder series.
With TSN widely available on cable, catching the NBA online shouldn’t be difficult for Canadian viewers – simply enter the details of your TV provider into the network’s website to watch.
However, if you don’t subscribe through cable TV, you can also use TSN Direct, with a $19.99 monthly subscription cost.
You’ll also be able to watch the Rockets vs Thunder online with NBA League Pass, with only Raptors games being subject to blackouts. That’s not a problem, however, as a VPN can easily swap your location so when the Raptors do step out onto the court, you can still live stream it all.
All times are the same as in the US as per the schedule below.
How to watch the Rockets vs Thunder: live stream 2020 NBA playoffs in Australia
There are two options for Australian viewers wanting to tune in to the 2019/20 NBA regular season restart.
The first is through cable and, more specifically, Foxtel. It offers ESPN, which is the home of NBA basketball Down Under, but will require you to commit to a contract.
If that’s not for you, then excellent value streaming service Kayo Sports also has you covered for all things ESPN and can be cancelled at any time – so we’d recommend looking into this option first.
Costing either $25 or$35 monthly, it’s far cheaper than Foxtel and you can grab a 14-day FREE TRIAL to test it out. Perhaps best of all, a single subscription can be used simultaneously across multiple devices, meaning you can share one with family or friends and pay less.
The first Rockets vs Thunder game will be available on ESPN/Kayo as will game 3 and more games from the series may well follow when the rest of the schedule is confirmed. However, if you’re worried about missing a game, you can always grab an NBA League Pass subscription for full coverage.
Houston Rockets vs Oklahoma City Thunder: round 1 schedule and TV channel details
Here’s a quickfire look at this first round Rockets vs Thunder NBA playoff series.
- Game 1: Tuesday, August 18 at 6.30pm ET / 3.30pm PT on TNT
- Game 2: Thursday, August 20 at 3.30pm ET / 12.30pm PT on ESPN
- Game 3: Saturday, August 22 at 6pm ET / 3pm PT on ESPN
- Game 4: Monday, August 24 at 4pm ET / 1pm PT on TNT
- Game 5: Wednesday, August 26 on TBD (if required)
- Game 6: Friday, August 28 at TBD on TBD (if required)
- Game 7: Sunday, August 30 at TBD on TBD (if required)
NBA League Pass: the best way to live stream the NBA online?
If you’ve been shopping for ways to pick up a Rockets vs Thunder live stream online, then you’ve likely come across the NBA League Pass. As the league’s official streaming service, it offers coverage of plenty of games and is available all around the world.
However, if you’re in the US, you’ll find a reduced-price subscription now available for $28.99. The caveat is that it doesn’t include any nationally televised games. That means you’ll still have to turn to ESPN, ABC, NBA TV or TNT.
The solution? Adding an NBA TV subscription to your account (available for $19.99) will give you access to full coverage, or you can bundle League Pass Premium with an NBA TV package for $59.98 for every game in all its commercial-free glory.
However, in the case of the playoffs, an NBA TV subscription alone will cover you for most games in the US, due to some clever scheduling by those in charge.
Note that NBA League Pass and NBA TV subscriptions are subject to blackout rules, meaning that if you live in the same area as your favorite team, you won’t be able to watch them – unless you utilize the VPN workaround as explained above, of course.
NBA League Pass is an international service, so you’ll be able to find different packages to suit international markets as well. In the UK, for example, a £42.99 annual fee gets you access to every remaining NBA game, without blackout restrictions or qualms over nationally televised broadcasts.
As ever, if you’re out of the country you subscribed to NBA League Pass in, it’s likely you can use a VPN to get around these restrictions – based on comprehensive testing, we rate ExpressVPN as the best and it offers a free trial so you can check it out, no strings attached.