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Thunder Game Day #50: vs. Chicago Bulls

Oklahoma City Thunder (28-21, 16-6 home) vs. Chicago Bulls (24-25, 9-14 away)
Wednesday, Feb. 1 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)

Thunder Game Day #50: at chicago bullsvs. Thunder Digest

TV: ESPN (206 Directv, 28 Cox, 720 HD , 602 AT&T U-Verse, 140 Dish)
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 3½-point favorites. O/U is 207
Notes: Thunder: here | Bulls: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • The Thunder have lost two in a row and are looking to rebound against the Chicago Bulls.
  • Oklahoma City’s January was a barn burner as they played only three of 19 games at home.
  • Chicago comes in tonight’s game fresh off a 121-108 win over the Sixers on Sunday night.

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).
  • Tonight’s game is on ESPN for those who do not live in the TV area of the Thunder.

SCOUTING THE BULLS

  • The Chicago Bulls are 24-25 on the season, seventh in the Eastern Conference.
  • Chicago is 5-5 in their last 10 games.
  • Bulls beat the 76ers 121-108 on Sunday.
  • The Thunder is 10-6 versus the Bulls during the Oklahoma City era.
  • Oklahoma City is 5-3 all-time at home vs. Chicago.
  • Chicago won last year in Oklahoma City 105-96 on Christmas.
  • Taj Gibson (ankle) is a game-time decision.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Chicago came on Feb. 24, 2013, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 102-72 (30-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (10 points) vs. the Bulls occurred during an 86-96 loss on Jan. 27, 2010.

RUSSELL WESTBROOK TRIP-DUBS

  • Russell Westbrook has 61 career triple-doubles, that’s best for sixth all-time.
  • 20 of the 61 are against Houston, Orlando, Washington, Minnesota, 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

  • The Thunder hosts the Grizzlies on Friday night.
  • Memphis is 29-21 on the season, sixth in the West.
  • The Grizzlies are 5-5 in their last 10 games.
  • Oklahoma City and Memphis have split their last two games.
  • Memphis is in Denver tonight.

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. With Kanter out, Oklahoma City 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.

GO FAST

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.

Bench scoring

With no Enes Kanter, the Thunder have to find other bench productions. They were abysmal on Sunday against Cleveland, scoring only 31 points on 35 shots. Oklahoma City has to do a lot better going forward. We’ll see how it goes tonight.

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