Oklahoma City Thunder (35-26, 12-18 away) vs. Phoenix Suns (19-42, 11-18 Away)
Friday, March 3 :: 8:00 p.m. CST :: Talking Stick Resort Arena (18,055)
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 even. O/U is 220.
Notes: Thunder: here | Suns: here
SETTING THE SCENE
- A 16-0 run by Portland last night put the Thunder in the loss column for the first time in almost three weeks.
- Oklahoma City will try to rebound in Phoenix as they’re on the second night of a back-to-back.
- Coincidentally, so is Phoenix, who beat the Hornets last night. Phoenix will be at home for both games of their back-to-back.
- Oklahoma City is 2-0 vs. the Suns 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).
LOSS TO THE BLAZERS HIGHLIGHTS
- In a game with 10 ties and 12 lead changes, Oklahoma City held an eight-point advantage halfway through the fourth quarter, but Portland outscored Oklahoma City 33-24 in the fourth quarter to end OKC’s four-game win streak.
- Russell Westbrook recorded his third consecutive 40-point game, 45 points, eight rebounds and four assists in 37 minutes.
- Enes Kanter turned in his 13th double-double of the season, 18 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
- Taj Gibson scored 15 points to go along with six rebounds in 33 minutes off the bench.
- The Thunder outscored the Trail Blazers 16-5 in fast break opportunities.
SCOUTING THE SUNS
- The Phoenix Suns are 19-42 on the season, tied for last in the Western Conference.
- The Suns are 3-7 in their last 10 games.
- Oklahoma City is 21-9 all-time vs. Phoenix in the Oklahoma City era.
- When the Thunder travel to Phoenix, they are 8-5.
- Oklahoma City has won the last two at Talking Stick.
- The Thunder are 2-0 vs. Phoenix this season, with a 50-point triple-double for Westbrook.
- Phoenix beat the Charlotte Hornets 120-103 last night.
- Dragan Bender (ankle) is out for tonight.
- The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Phoenix came on Feb. 8 2013, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 127-96 (31-point margin of victory).
- Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (22 points) vs. the Suns occurred during a 118-140 loss on Feb. 20, 2009.
RUSSELL WESTBROOK TRIP-DUBS
- Russell Westbrook has 67 career triple-doubles, that’s best for sixth all-time.
- 20 of the 67 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
- Victor Oladipo (back) is a out. He did not travel for the road trip.
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.
- Oklahoma City travels to Dallas to round up their three-game road trip on Sunday, March 5.
- Oklahoma City is 1-0 vs. Dallas this season.
- The Mavericks are 24-36 on the season, 12th in the West.
- Dallas is 4-6 in their last 10 games.
- Dallas plays the Grizzlies tonight before playing the Thunder on Sunday.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Last night could have been an anomaly and probably was. However, a team like the Suns, who have struggled all season really need to close out when given the chance tonight. No comeback from the Suns should be allowed.
Thunder money ball
Oklahoma City is one of the league’s worst in three-point shooting. However, if you’re relying on threes like last night and giving the Suns long rebound opportunities, this is going to be another long night for the Thunder. It doesn’t help that Oladipo is still out.
Oklahoma City is allowing over 112 points per game in losses. They’re holding opponents to 100.9 points per game in victories. It’s simple, keep the teams from scoring efficiently and consistently if they’re going to win this game. If the score heads into the 110s and such, Oklahoma City may have a problem.