Oklahoma City Thunder (21-16, 13-6 home) vs. Denver Nuggets (14-22, 7-11 away)
Saturday, Jan. 7 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
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 7-point favorite. O/U is 221½
Notes: Thunder: here | Nuggets: here
SETTING THE SCENE
- Two teams heading in the wrong direction meet at the Peake trying to write their wrongs.
- Oklahoma City has lost three straight and four of their last five.
- Denver has dropped four in a row.
- The Thunder have won seven in a row against Denver. They haven’t lost to the Nuggets since Nov. 19, 2014.
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 NUGGETS
- The Denver Nuggets are 14-22 on the season, 10th in the Western Conference.
- In their last 10 games, the Nuggets are 5-5.
- The Nuggets have dropped four straight contests. They haven’t won since Dec. 29, 2016.
- The Thunder is 18-14 versus the Nuggets during the Oklahoma City era.
- Oklahoma City has won seven in a row vs. Denver. They haven’t lost to the Nuggets since Nov. 19, 2014.
- The Thunder haven’t lost at home vs. Denver since March 19, 2013.
- Last time they met: Thunder beat Denver 132-129 in overtime.
- Nikola Jokic (illness) is a game-time decision.
- Darrell Arthur (knee) is a game-time decision.
- The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Denver came on Feb. 22, 2015, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 119-94 (25-point margin of victory).
- Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (29 points) vs. DEN occurred during a 90-119 loss on March 3, 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.
- Cameron Payne (foot) is will play tonight.
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.
- Oklahoma City travels to Chicago on Monday night.
- The Bulls are 18-18 on the season, eighth in the Eastern Conference
- It’s the first regular season meeting for the two teams.
- Chicago swept the thunder last season.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Defend the three
Oklahoma City has struggled to defend the three over their losing streak and over the long list of the nine bad games, the Thunder are allowing 37.8 percent from three, worst in the association. That’s pretty simple, Oklahoma City will need to defend better if they’re going to salvage anything tonight.
Take care of the ball
Oklahoma City has to take care of the ball and that way opponents aren’t getting into transition with easy points. Denver wants to run and gun, the Thunder are going to limit what they’re going to do if they’re going to leave the Peake with a W.
Hey Bench, show up
If the bench shows up, Oklahoma City runs away with this game. However, they’re non-existent at times, especially defensively. They have to find a way to defend, the Thunder are going to find a victory finally. We’ll see how that’ll work out before too long.