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Thunder Game Day #82: vs. Denver Nuggets

Oklahoma City Thunder (47-34, 28-12 home) vs. Denver Nuggets (39-42, 17-23 away)
Wednesday, April 12 :: 4:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)

Thunder Game Day #80: at Denver Nuggetsvs. Thunder Digest

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: Denver is a 4-point favorite. O/U is 229 1/2
Notes: Thunder: here | Nuggets: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • The final regular season game is upon us as the Oklahoma City Thunder welcome the Denver Nuggets in for the regular season finale.
  • Denver and Oklahoma City only met 72 hours ago, as Oklahoma City beat the Nuggets on a buzzer beater from Russell Westbrook 106-105.
  • The playoffs have been decided, the Thunder are the sixth seed and Denver is out.
  • Russell Westbrook is expected to be congratulated by Oscar Robertson and Adam Silver tonight.

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).

LAST GAME VS THE T-WOLVES

  • Recap
  • Oklahoma City blew a 22-point lead but still needed a Victor Oladipo 21-foot jumper to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 100-98 on Tuesday night.
  • Kyle Singler had 11 points, nine in the first half, as the Thunder led for a majority of the game.
  • Oklahoma City dished out 22 assists in the victory.
  • The Thunder found themselves without three starters in the victory.

SCOUTING THE NUGGETS

  • The Denver Nuggets are 38-42 on the season, currently ninth in the Western Conference
  • Denver is 5-5 in their last 10 games.
  • The Nuggets are eliminated from playoff contention.
  • Denver beat the Mavericks last night 109-101.
  • The Thunder is 20-14 versus the Nuggets during the Oklahoma City era.
  • Oklahoma City is 3-0 vs. Denver this season.
  • In the previous meeting between these two teams, the Thunder beat the Nuggets 106-105.
  • Oklahoma City is 12-5 all-time at home vs. the Nuggets, including seven in a row.
  • Russell Westbrook has had three triple-doubles in both meetings vs the Nuggets this season.
  • Westbrook is averaging 39.3 points, 14.7 assists, and 12.7 rebounds vs Denver in three games.
  • Wilson Chandler (Illness) is questionable.
  • Will Barton (Left foot soreness) is a game-time decision.
  • Jameer Nelson (Right calf strain) is also questionable.
  • Emmanuel Mudiay (ankle) is a game-time decision.
  • Danilo Galinari (rest) is out.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Denver came on Feb. 22, 2015, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 129-104 (25-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (29 points) vs. Denver happened during a 119-90 loss on March 3, 2010.

RUSSELL WESTBROOK TRIP-DUBS

  • Russell Westbrook has 79 career triple-doubles, that’s for fourth all-time.
  • 27 of the 79 are against Houston, Orlando, Washington, Minnesota, Denver, and Philadelphia. He has four against each team.
  • Westbrook has recorded three of his 42 triple doubles vs Denver this season.
  • Westbrook is fourth 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

  • Doug McDermott (knee) is questionable for tonight.

SIX SEED FOR OKLAHOMA CITY

  • With the Los Angeles Clippers defeating the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder have clinched the six seed in the Western Conference.
  • Oklahoma City has now reached the playoffs six out of the last eight years.
  • This is the first time the Thunder have been a six seed since coming to Oklahoma City. They will face the Houston Rockets in the opening round.

STILL GOOD ODDS

  • According to Sportsbook, the Oklahoma City Thunder have the eleventh best odds to win the Larry O’Brien trophy.
  • They have the sixth best odds to win the Western Conference behind, the Jazz, Clippers, Spurs, Rockets, and the Warriors.

NEXT UP

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder will take on the Houston Rockets in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
  • Houston is 54-27 on the season, third in the Western Conference.
  • The Rockets are 5-5 in their last 10 games.
  • Oklahoma City lost the regular season series to the Rockets 3-1.
  • Houston takes on the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight.

KEYS TO THE GAME

Slow down Jokic

Oklahoma City’s front court struggles with uber-athletic big men like Nikola Jokic. Jokic can do it all, whether it be shooting, passing like a point guard, or rebounding and grabbing extra possessions for his team. Steven Adams will have to guard him out on the perimeter at times, and that is where things can get tough. If the Thunder can slow down Jokic, though, then it should be a good day for Oklahoma City.

Fast break

The Minnesota Timberwolves did a solid job of slowing down the Thunder. Today, on missed Denver shots, Oklahoma City will have to do a better job out getting out on the run and capitalizing on the fast break. Oklahoma City will really do a much better job with the return of Russell Westbrook.

At least try on defense

Against Phoenix there was no try on defense. Against the T-Wolves, the Thunder defense was tough and really smothering. Look for the Thunder to do that tonight once again since the Thunder are trying to end the season on a high note. The Thunder need to defend early so they aren’t chasing a huge deficit in the second half.

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