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Game Day #39: Suns at Thunder

Phoenix Suns (17-20, 7-11 road) at Oklahoma City Thunder (30-8, 16-1 home)

 vs. 

Where: The ‘Peake!
When: 7:00 p.m.
TV:
 FSOK (Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27, DirectTV 679, UVerse 754)
Online StreamHere.
RadioWWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Projected Lineups:

Thunder:
Phoenix:  

Last time: Oklahoma City beat Phoenix in Oklahoma City 107-97.

Best Home team in the league return to play against the Phoenix Suns tonight. Phoenix are coming into town on a nice little win streak. The Suns have won three in a row. They’ve actually won 5 of their last 6 games. Including wins over the Lakers, Timberwolves and Clippers. So, Oklahoma City better come prepared tonight.

In the last six games, Phoenix is averaging 98.5 points per game. They’re winning by an average of 7.6 points per game. Their lone loss in the last six was against the Golden State Warriors (106-104).  However, their last three games, Phoenix had to come back from double-digit deficits.

Steve Nash leads the league in assists and basically is defying time by doing this. However, the Suns center, Martin Gortat will have his hands full with Kendrick Perkins. Gortat leads the Suns in scoring and rebounding. Perkins had a great game against the Mavericks, and will look to do so against the Suns.

Oklahoma City is coming off yet another gritty win against the Dallas Mavericks. The Thunder won despite Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden going just 16-49 from the floor.It was a credit to the role players that Oklahoma City found a way to win that game.

They’re riding their longest run of consecutive victories over Phoenix since winning six straight meetings bridging the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons. Oklahoma City (30-8) has won four in a row in this series, averaging 114.0 points on 51.7 percent shooting, even with Durant playing poorly.

Keys to the game

Rebound
Outside of Gortat, the Suns are not a very good rebounding team. They rank just 19th overall in rebounding. They’re also one of the worst offensive rebounding teams, with the combination of being of the worst teams to allow offensive rebounds. On the other end of the stick, Oklahoma City is one of the better rebounding teams in the league… except on the offensive glass.

Extra Shots
The Thunder are still the worst in the league when it comes to turnovers.  Phoenix is about on the league average with turnovers. However, the Thunder allow a league worst in allowing extra shots in 7.3 more shots for the opponent a game. Less turnovers and block out would limit that.

Kevin Durant
He’s averaged 17.3 points in the past three match-ups against the Suns, while shooting 34.9 percent. His 20.8 scoring average versus the Suns since the start of last season is his lowest against any opponent he’s faced more than once. Durant had a season-low 12 points in a 107-97 home win over Phoenix on Dec. 31. He was 4 of 11 from the field, but the Thunder shot 53.2% and never trailed. OKC hit 38.2% on Monday and now face a Phoenix team that has held its last three opponents below 40.0%

 

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