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Thunder Game Day #48: at Cleveland Cavaliers

Oklahoma City Thunder (28-19, 12-13 away) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (31-14, 20-5 home)
Sunday, Jan. 29 :: 2:30 p.m. CST :: Quicken Loans Arena (20,562)

Thunder Game Day #48: at Cleveland Cavaliersvs. Thunder Digest

TV: ABC (5 DirecTV, 8 Cox, 705 HD, 5 AT&T U-Verse, 5 Dish)
Online Streamhere.
RadioWWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: Oklahoma City is a 7-point underdog. O/U is 220½
Notes: Thunder: here | Cavaliers: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • This will be Oklahoma City’s first game since Enes Kanter’s injury. Oklahoma City is 1-1 all-time when Kanter misses a game with injury.
  • Cleveland beat the Nets on Friday night, ending their three-game losing streak.
  • The Thunder haven’t beat the Cavs since 2014 and haven’t won in Cleveland since March 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.
  • Tonight’s broadcast is on ABC only.

SCOUTING THE CAVALIERS

  • The Cleveland Cavaliers are 31-14 on the season, best in the East.
  • Cleveland is 4-6 in their last 10 games.
  • The Cavs beat the Nets 124-116 on Friday night.
  • This is the first meeting between the two teams.
  • In their head-to-head meetings, the Thunder trail the series 10-5 and have lost three straight.
  • Oklahoma City is 2-5 all-time at Quicken Loans.
  • Chris Andersen (knee) is out.
  • J.R. Smith (thumb) is out.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Cleveland came on Dec. 12, 2010, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 106-77 (29-point margin of victory).
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (35 points) against the Cavaliers occurred during a 82- 117 loss on Nov. 26, 2009.

RUSSELL WESTBROOK TRIP-DUBS

  • Russell Westbrook has 60 career triple-doubles, that’s best for sixth all-time.
  • 16 of the 60 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.
  • Westbrook is fifth all-time in triple-doubles.

ALL-TIME TRIPLE-DOUBLE LIST

Rank Name Triple-doubles
1 Oscar Robertson 181
2 Magic Johnson 138
3 Jason Kidd 108
4 Russell Westbrook 79

INJURY REPORT

  • Enes Kanter is out until at least March 8.

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 will travel to San Antonio to close out the toughest month in franchise history.
  • San Antonio is 36-10 on the season, second in the Western Conference.
  • The Spurs are 7-3 in their last 10 games.
  • This will be the first meeting between the two teams this season.
  • San Antonio is playing Dallas this evening for their next game.

KEYS TO THE GAME

Transition

These Cavaliers are trying to get out and into transition. However, the Thunder like to run, too. Oklahoma City has to figure out the quiet balance of helping their own cause while limiting their opponent’s. The Thunder’s game could really rely on this.

Big third

If you break down the scoring differences between quarters for the Thunder:

1st: +60 (7th in NBA)
2nd: -1 (12th)
3rd: -51 (23rd)
4th: +23 (11th)

It’s easy to see Oklahoma City has to really pick it up in the second and third quarters tonight. Do not give Dallas any chance of making this a game.

Pound the glass

Oklahoma City without Kanter will have to find a way to attack the glass and dominate. If the Cavaliers can find a way beat the Thunder on the glass, it could be a long afternoon for the Thunder. However, if they can find a way to make up for Kanter’s absence, could be a surprising upset.

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