Oklahoma City Thunder (20-12, 8-6 away) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (20-14, 12-7 home)
Thursday, Dec. 29 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: FedEx Forum (18,119)
TV: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 676-5, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27, U-Verse 751/1751 HD)
Online Stream: here.
Radio: WWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Line: Oklahoma City is a 4-point favorite. O/U is 205
Notes: Thunder: here | Grizzlies: here
SETTING THE SCENE
- The hottest team in the association takes their four game win streak to Memphis to do battle with the rival Grizzlies.
- Russell Westbrook is doing Westbrook-like things. He has 15 triple-doubles in 32 games. He’s on pace for 40 triple-doubles.
- The series between the Grizzlies and Thunder has been tight, with Oklahoma City with the slim 16-13 advnatage.
FOLLOWING THE ACTION
- You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
- Brian Davis and Michael Cage call the game on the Thunder’s flagship station, Fox Sports Oklahoma. You can watch the game there, catch it on NBA League Pass, or use the Fox Sports App (If you’re in Oklahoma)
RUSSELL WESTBROOK TRIP-DUBS
- Russell Westbrook has 52 career triple-doubles, that’s best for sixth all-time.
- 16 of the 50 are against Houston, Orlando, Washington, and Philadelphia. He has four against each team.
- Russell Westbrook seven triple-doubles in a row this season is the most since 1989 when Jordan had seven in a row and 10 in 11 games.
- Cameron Payne is still out with a foot fracture.
- Victor Oladipo (wrist) is a out.
50 IS NIFTY
- On March 24, the Thunder claimed a 22-point home victory over the Jazz and in the process, OKC recorded the team’s 50th win of the season.
- Oklahoma City has now finished with a winning percentage of .610 (equivalent to 50 wins) six times dating back to the 2009-10 season.
- Only the San Antonio Spurs (seven seasons with .610 winning percentage), have reached that benchmark more during this period.
STILL GOOD ODDS
- According to Sportsbook, the Oklahoma City Thunder have the eighth best odds to win the Larry O’Brien trophy.
- They have the fifthbest odds to win the Western Conference behind, the Clippers, Spurs, Rockets, and the Warriors.
SCOUTING THE GRIZZLIES
- Memphis is 20-14 on the season, seventh in the Western Conference.
- The Thunder is 16-13 against the Grizzlies during the Oklahoma City era.
- Oklahoma City is 7-8 all-time at the FedEx Forum.
- The Thunder have won the last two games against Memphis.
- Oklahoma City took two of three in the regular season series against the Grizzlies last season.
- Mike Conley (toe) is a game-time decision.
- Deyonta Davis (foot) is out.
- Brandan Wright (ankle) is out.
- The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Memphis came on Dec. 8, 2015, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 125-88 (37-point margin of victory).
- Oklahoma City’s largest margin of defeat (11 points) vs. Grizzlies occurred during a 74-85 loss on Jan. 31, 2015.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Defend the rim
While the Thunder are one of the league’s best teams at scoring near the rim, the Memphis Grizzlies are dead last. They’re shooting only 52.3 percent. Cannot let Memphis beat you inside. They’re aging and they’re not as big of a physical threat as they used to be. Assert your will and you win.
The Grizzlies are one of the slowest teams in the league at just a shade over 95 possessions per contest. Oklahoma City is averaging 101 per game. Go fast and keep the Grizzlies on their toes. Memphis is already averaging 84 shots per contest, compared to Oklahoma City’s almost 87 per game. Three shots seems like so minuscule in the grand scheme of things, but that’s anywhere from 6-8 points.
Once again, tale of two different philosophies. Memphis goes slow and only averages 97.4 points per game. Oklahoma City goes fast and they averaged 107.0 points per game. Push it into the 100s and this could favor the Thunder. Memphis is only 7-10 when their opponent scores at least 100 points. There is your Lawler’s Law goal.