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Thunder Game Day #35: at Milwaukee Bucks

Oklahoma City Thunder (21-13, 8-7 away) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (16-16, 10-7 home)
Monday, Jan. 2 :: 6:00 p.m. CST :: BMO Harris Bradley Center (18,717)

Thunder Game Day #34 at Milwaukee bucksvs. Thunder Digest

TV: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 676-5, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27, U-Verse 751/1751 HD)
Online Streamhere.
RadioWWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: Oklahoma City is a 2-point underdog. O/U is 211
Notes: Thunder: here | Bucks: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • Oklahoma City starts 2017 off 0-0. They were 21-13 in the 2016 version of this season.
  • Russell Westbrook has to be the front runner for the MVP after his insane performance against the Clippers in Oklahoma City’s 114-88 win over L.A. on Saturday night.
  • Milwaukee is only 5-5 in their last 10 games. However, they busted the Bulls 116-96 on Sunday afternoon.

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 53 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.

INJURY REPORT

  • Cameron Payne (foot) is expected to play.

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 BUCKS

  • Milwaukee is 16-16 on the season, seventh in the Eastern Conference.
  • The Bucks are 5-5 in their last 10 games.
  • Oklahoma City is only 9-6 all-time against the Bucks.
  • The Thunder have won three straight over Milwaukee and seven of the last nine.
  • Oklahoma City beat Milwaukee 104-96 on March 6, 2016.
  • The Thunder are 5-3 all-time in Milwaukee.
  • Rashad Vaughn (ankle) is a game-time decision.
  • Matthew Dellavedova (hamstring) is a game-time decision.
  • Khris Middleton (hamstring) is out.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Milwaukee came on April 9, 2012, where the Thunder prevailed by a score of 109-89 (20-point margin of victory).
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (17 points) vs. Bucks occurred during a 98-115 loss on April 11, 2009.

KEYS TO THE GAME

Fundamental defense

You wouldn’t be thinking it, but Milwaukee is one of the most efficient shooting teams in the league. Only the Golden State Warriors shoot better from the floor. Only four teams, all averaging over 40 makes per game, are making more buckets per game than Milwaukee. Have to be sound defensively tonight.

Thunder Money Ball

The Thunder have to find a way to create space by hitting threes. Oklahoma City is making 34 percent of three-pointers in wins and only 30 percent in losses. Oklahoma City has to find some threes laying around to help propel them to this victory.

Russ be Russ

Milwaukee will find ways to bug Russell Westbrook. He’ll need to be his awesome self. Oklahoma City will really be at the Mercy of Westbrook’s game tonight. if we see good, dominate Westbrook, this might be a complete blow out. So, let’s hope we see that.

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