Oklahoma City Thunder (28-22, 16-7 home) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (30-21, 14-12 away)
Friday, Feb. 3 :: 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 1½-point favorites. O/U is 207
Notes: Thunder: here | Grizzlies: here
SETTING THE SCENE
- Oklahoma City is reeling on a 3-game losing streak. They haven’t been close either.
- Memphis, winners of three in a row are seeing sunshine and daisies compared to the Thunder.
- Both teams have split their first two games, both teams winning on their home courts.
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 BULLS
- The Memphis Grizzlies are 30-21 on the season, sixth in the Western Conference.
- Memphis is 6-4 in their last 10 games.
- The Grizzlies blasted the Nuggets 119-99 on Wednesday night.
- The Thunder is 17-14 against the Grizzlies during the Oklahoma City era.
- Oklahoma City is 11-5 all-time at the Peake vs. Memphis.
- The Thunder have won three in a row at home vs. the Grizzlies.
- The Grizzlies are relatively healthy.
- The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Memphis came on Dec. 8, 2015, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 125-88 (37-point margin of victory).
- Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (34 points) vs. the Grizzlies occurred during a 80-114 loss on Dec. 19, 2016.
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
- Enes Kanter is out until at least March 8.
- Alex Abrines (back) is a game-time decision.
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.
- The Thunder hosts divisional rival Portland on Sunday.
- Portland is 22-28 on the season, eighth in the West.
- The Trail Blazers are 5-5 in their last 10 games.
- Oklahoma City lost their first meeting with Portland 114-95 on Dec. 13.
- Portland is playing the hot Mavs 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.
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.
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.