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Thunder Game Day #36: at Charlotte Hornets

Oklahoma City Thunder (21-14, 8-8 away) vs. Charlotte Hornets (19-16, 11-7 home)
Wednesday, Jan. 4 :: 6:00 p.m. CST :: Spectrum Center (20,200)

Thunder Game Day #36 at charlotte hornetsvs. 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 209½
Notes: Thunder: here | Hornets: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • An upsetting loss on Monday night sends Oklahoma City to Charlotte down a game and 6-4 in their last 10 games.
  • The Thunder have won 11 straight over the Hornets, dating back to March 17, 2010. Only one starter on each team remains from that game: Russell Westbrook.
  • Charlotte gave up 52 points to Jimmy Butler in their last game.

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)

SCOUTING THE HORNETS

  • The Charlotte Hornets are 19-16 on the season, fourth in the Eastern Conference.
  • In their last 10 games, the Hornets are 5-5.
  • Charlotte has dropped their last two games, one to Chicago and to Cleveland.
  • The Thunder is 13-2 versus the Hornets during the Oklahoma City era.
  • Oklahoma City has won 11 straight over Charlotte dating back to March 17, 2010.
  • The Thunder’s average margin of victory: 17.1 points per game.
  • Oklahoma City beat Charlotte 109-95 on Jan. 20, 2016 in their last meeting.
  • The Thunder are 5-2 all-time in Charlotte.
  • Cody Zeller (concussion) is out tonight.
  • Marco Belinelli (sprained left ankle) is questionable.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Charlotte came on Nov. 26, 2012, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 114-69 (45-point margin of victory).
  • Oklahoma City’s largest margin of defeat (eight points) vs. Charlotte occurred during a 92-100 loss on March 17, 2010.

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 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 fifth best odds to win the Western Conference behind, the Clippers, Spurs, Rockets, and the Warriors.

NEXT UP

  • Oklahoma City travels to Houston to complete the back-to-back.
  • Houston is third in the Western Conference and has won five in a row.
  • The season series between Oklahoma City and Houston is tied 1-1.
  • Oklahoma City is 2-4 in the second night of a back-to-back.
  • Game time is 7 p.m. on TNT

KEYS TO THE GAME

Rebound

Charlotte is one of the best rebounding teams in the association. It’s why they’re having such a good season. Without Cody Zeller in tonight’s contest, it’s imperative Oklahoma City can find ways to get onto the boards and pull down some rebounds. We saw rebounding falter against Milwaukee, cannot have that tonight.

Get to the FT line

Charlotte is the league’s best at limiting opponents at free throw attempts. They’re fundamentally sound when guarding and you probably won’t see anyone reaching in when they don’t have a clear shot. Oklahoma City needs Westbrook and Co. to be super aggressive tonight and get to the line. Only one team has shot over 30 attempts vs. Charlotte this season.

Russ be Russ

Charlotte 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. This is definitely needed after the previous game vs. Milwaukee.

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