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Thunder Game Day #54: at Cleveland Cavaliers

Oklahoma City Thunder (30-23, 18-7 home) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (36-15, 14-10 home)

Thursday, Feb. 9 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)

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

TV: TNT (245 DirecTV, 31 Cox, 730 HD 108 AT&T U-Verse, 138 Dish)
Online Streamhere.
RadioWWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: Oklahoma City is a 11-point favorite. O/U is 207½
Notes: Thunder: here | Cavaliers: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder welcome the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
  • Oklahoma City fought a tough fight on Jan. 27 and lost in Cleveland 107-91. The game was much closer than the final score.
  • It’s expected Cleveland to rest their big three tonight (Irving, James, and Love).

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 TNT only.

SCOUTING THE CAVALIERS

  • The Cleveland Cavaliers are 36-15 on the season, best in the East.
  • Cleveland is 6-4 in their last 10 games.
  • The Cavs beat the Indiana 132-117 last night.
  • Oklahoma City lost to the Cavs 107-91 on Jan. 27.
  • In their head-to-head meetings, the Thunder trail the series 11-5 and have lost four straight.
  • Oklahoma City is 3-5 all-time against Cleveland in the Peake.
  • LeBron James (rest) is a game-time decision.
  • Kyrie Irving (rest) is a game-time decision.
  • Kevin Love (rest) is a game-time decision.
  • Iman Shumpert (ankle) is out.
  • 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 62 career triple-doubles, that’s best for sixth all-time.
  • 20 of the 62 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

  • Oklahoma City will host the Golden State Warriors. You know who.
  • Warriors are 44-8 on the season, best in the Western Conference.
  • The Warriors are 8-2 in their last 10 games.
  • Golden State is 2-0 this season vs. Oklahoma City.
  • The Warriors play the Grizzlies tomorrow night.

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 Cleveland 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 evening 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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