Oklahoma City Thunder (32-25, 20-8 home) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (19-39, 7-25 away)
Friday, Feb. 24 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
TV: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, 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 10-point favorite. O/U is 221
Notes: Thunder: here | Lakers: here
SETTING THE SCENE
- Oklahoma City comes into the second half of the season with only 28 games remaining.
- The Thunder beat the Knicks right before the break. Before that Oklahoma City had lost three of four games.
- The Lakers are 19-39 on the season, second worst in the West.
- Los Angeles dropped two straight before the break and are only 3-7 in their last 10 games.
- Oklahoma City and Los Angeles are 1-1 in their series meeting this year.
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).
WIN OVER THE KNICKS HIGHLIGHTS
- After the Knicks built an early 17 point lead, The Thunder outscored New York 35-21 in the second quarter to take a halftime advantage.
- Victor Oladipo scored 12 of his 21 in the second quarter.
- Russell Westbrook tallied his 27th triple-double of the season by recording 38 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists, giving him the third-most ever in an NBA season.
- Five players were in double figures for Oklahoma City, including Jerami Grant who had his seventh double-digit scoring game of the season, 13 points, to go along with five rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes.
- Oklahoma City outscored New York on the break, 25-8.
SCOUTING THE LAKERS
- The Los Angeles Lakers are 19-39 on the season, 14th in the Western Conference
- In their last 10 games, the Lakers are 3-7.
- The Thunder is 18-12 vs. Los Angeles during the Oklahoma City era.
- Oklahoma City is 10-4 overall vs. the Lakers at home.
- Los Angeles hasn’t beaten the Thunder in Oklahoma City since Feb. 2011, nine straight.
- Oklahoma City’s won those nine games by an average of 20.7 points per game.
- The Lakers beat Oklahoma City 111-109 on Nov. 22 in Los Angeles.
- Teams have split their two games in the regular season series.
- Tyler Ennis (coach’s decision) is out tonight.
- The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Los Angeles came on Dec. 19, 2015, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 118-78 (40-point margin of victory).
- Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (18 points) vs. Lakers occurred during an 89-107 loss on March 24, 2009.
RUSSELL WESTBROOK TRIP-DUBS
- Russell Westbrook has 64 career triple-doubles, that’s best for sixth all-time.
- 20 of the 64 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 (ulna fracture) is probably for tonight’s game.
- Taj Gibson (trade) is questionable for tonight.
- Doug McDermott (trade) is questionable for 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.
- On Sunday, Feb. 26, the Thunder will host the new look New Orleans Pelicans.
- New Orleans is 23-35 in the regular season, 11th in the Western Conference.
- The Pelicans is 4-6 in their last 10 games.
- New Orleans will be on a back-to-back as they are in Dallas on Saturday and Oklahoma City on Sunday.
- Oklahoma City is 3-0 this season vs. NOLA.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Defend the three
Oklahoma City has struggled to defend over their losing streak and over the long list of the bad games, the Thunder are allowing a horrible 44.5 percent from three, second worst in the association. In victories, the Thunder are only allowing 32 percent from deep That’s pretty simple, Oklahoma City will need to defend better if they want to win.
If Kanter returns tonight, the Thunder will dominate the glass. However, if he’s out the rebounding is still just as important. Oklahoma City cannot be giving extra opportunities to the Lakers. It’s imperative they win the glass.
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. If Oklahoma City is short players due to the trade, Oklahoma City will really need the extra step for this team. They have to find a way to defend, the Thunder are going to find a victory. The Thunder’s bench averages 35.7 points per game, 14th. They’re giving up 35.2 points on the bench, which is ninth. Oklahoma City has to defend better.