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Game Day #31: Nuggets at Thunder

Denver Nuggets (17-14, 9-7 away) at Oklahoma City Thunder (23-7, 11-1 home)

vs.

Where: The ‘Peake
When: 7:00 p.m.
TV:
 ESPN (206 Directv, 28 Cox, 602 AT&T U-Verse, 140 Dish)
Online StreamHere.
RadioWWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the Enemy: Here.
Projected Lineups:

Thunder:
Nuggets:

So, we meet again.

Denver and Oklahoma City met in the first round of the playoffs last season and a little rivalry was born. Denver dominated when Carmelo Anthony was in Denver. Last season, Denver won the first meeting against the Thunder with Anthony, then he was traded. Oklahoma City went 3-0 after the trade and 4-1 in the playoffs.

Gone is JR Smith, Raymond Felton, Kenyon Martin and Wilson Chandler from last year’s playoff bout. However, the Nuggets weren’t fazed early on going 14-5 to start the season. However, since then Denver is just 3-9.  Doesn’t help that their best scorer, Danilo Galinari is out until early March.

The Nuggets and the Thunder are two of three top scoring teams in the league. Nuggets averaging 103.4 points per game and OKC is averaging 101.6 points per game. Unlike OKC though, Denver doesn’t play much defense, as the Nuggets are giving up over 100 points a ball game.

Couple of injuries for this game. Thabo Sefolosha is out.  Lazar Hayward is out. Danilo Galinari is out for Nuggets. Nene Hilario is also out for the Nuggets. Rudy Fernandez is a game time decision.

Keys to the game

Rebound
OKC gave up 22 rebounds versus the Warriors. The Nuggets can shoot the ball (third best in NBA .475%). If you give them extra opportunities, they can hurt you. It’s that simple. Some of that could have been contributed to Perkins being out, I hope so. I hope that doesn’t happen tonight.

Turnovers
The leagues worst team at turnovers, turned it over 19 times against the Warriors. Denver is a top five team in forcing turnovers. They like to get out and run off turnovers. Oklahoma City needs to stop that by limiting turnovers.

Russell Westbrook
How is that ankle? Will he be as aggressive as he usually is in the game? It’ll be really interesting to see how he plays. He hurt the Nuggets last season. He averaged 22.3 ppg with 6.5 assists per game. He did have 3.2 turnovers per game. Which Westbrook will we see?

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