Oklahoma City Thunder (3-3, 1-2 away) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (4-2, 2-2 home)
Tuesday, Oct. 31 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: BMO Harris Bradley Center (18,717)
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: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 1½-point favorite. The over/under is 212.
Notes: Thunder: here | Bucks: here
SETTING THE SCENE
- The Oklahoma City Thunder played their most complete game on Saturday night and look to carry that momentum into tonight’s bout with the Milwaukee Bucks.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo is the front runner for MVP at this point. He’s led the Bucks to an impressive 4-2 start.
- Oklahoma City is only 1-2 on the road this season with losses to Minnesota and Utah.
- The Thunder have won four of their last five against Milwaukee.
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).
- You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook for game updates.
Thunder thump Bulls
- The Thunder jumped out to an early lead in the first before holding Chicago to just 8 points in the second quarter, nearly matching their opponent record low of 6, and the Bulls never pulled ahead.
- Oklahoma City tallied 16 steals and generated 18 points off of 20 Chicago turnovers while winning the battle in the paint 36-16 and outscoring the Bulls in fast break points 16-9.
- Russell Westbrook recorded his third triple-double of the season and first against the Bulls with 12 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists, making him the only player in NBA history to log a triple-double against all 29 other teams in the league. He is also just the third player to register three triple-doubles within the first six games of the season (Oscar Robertson, Jerry Lucas, Magic Johnson).
- Carmelo Anthony finished with a game-leading 21 points to become the first player in Thunder history to score at least 20 points in each of his first six games with Oklahoma City.
- The Oklahoma City Thunder added a bunch of new faces this year.
- Paul George was acquired on June 30 for Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo.
- Carmelo Anthony joins the Thunder after Oklahoma City sent Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a second round pick to the Knicks for Anthony.
- Oklahoma City also signed Raymond Felton and Patrick Patterson via free agency.
- Terrance Ferguson was drafted in the first round out of Australia.
- Oklahoma City also added PJ Dozier, undrafted rookie out of South Carolina to a two-way deal.
Anthony moving up the ranks
- Carmelo Anthony currently ranks 25th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (24,299 points) and fourth among active players behind Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James and Vince Carter.
- Anthony is also one of six players in league history alongside Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce to record 24,000 points, 6,000 rebounds, 2,500 assists, 1,000 steals and 1,000 three-point field goals.
- Paul George is the only player since he was drafted in 2010 with at least 2,800 rebounds, 700 steals and a three-point percentage of 37 percent or better.
- He is one of just five players with at least 8,000 points in 400 starts or less alongside Damian Lillard, Isaiah Thomas, Kyrie Irvingand Kemba Walker.
- To cap off his MVP season, Russell Westbrook registered his NBA-record-setting 42nd triple-double of the season last April 9th in Denver (Oscar Roberson tallied 41 triple-doubles during the 1961-62 season). Trailing 103-105 with 2.9 seconds left, Westbrook connected on a game-winning 36-foot 3-point field goal to also become the only player in NBA history to post three 50-point triple-doubles in a single season.
- He is the only player in NBA history to register seven consecutive triple-doubles on two separate occasions during a single season.
- Westbrook also posted five straight 30-point triple-doubles this season to become the only player in NBA history to ever accomplish the feat.
- To put further perspective on Westbrook’s triple-doubles, there are 11 NBA teams that have amassed fewer triple-doubles in their entire team history as compared to the 42 logged by Westbrook
- The Oklahoma City Thunder are relatively healthy at this point.
Still good odds
- According to Sportsbook, the Oklahoma City Thunder have the sixth best odds to win the Larry O’Brien trophy.
- They have the fourth best odds to win the Western Conference behind, the Clippers, Spurs, Rockets, and the Warriors.
SCOUTING THE Bucks
- The Milwaukee Bucks are currently 4-2 on the season, third in the Eastern Conference.
- Last season, Milwaukee finished 42-40, sixth in the East.
- Last season, the two teams split in the their regular season meetings.
- All-time against Milwaukee, the Oklahoma City Thunder 69-68 against the Bucks.
- Since relocation, Oklahoma City is 10-7 vs. the Bucks.
- The Thunder are 5-4 on the road vs. the Bucks.
- Greg Monroe (calf) is out.
- Jabari Parker (knee).
- The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Milwaukee came on April 4, 2017, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 110-79 (31-point margin of victory).
- The Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (17 points) vs. MIL occurred during a 98-115 loss on April 11, 2009.
- On Friday, the Oklahoma City Thunder are hosting the Boston Celtics on Nov. 3.
- Then, the travel to Portland to play the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, Nov. 5.
Three Keys to the Game
Defend the mid-range
The Milwaukee Bucks are shooting 48 percent from the 8-16 foot range. Oklahoma City needs to defend a little better here. If the Thunder let the Bucks going through getting hot in the mid-range, it could be a long night. They’ll have to defend a little closer and force contested jumpers. Oklahoma City is seventh in defending the mid-range. Let’s see who wins.
Milwaukee Bucks are only allowing 5.7 fast break points per game. That’s a nice opposite of the Thunder, who are averaging over 18 per game. The Thunder are going to need to get going and score in transition. It’ll work well for Russell Westbrook, too.
Get to the foul line
At only 20.3 attempts per game, the Thunder rank 24th in free throw attempts. It doesn’t help Russell Westbrook has struggled from the line in the first two games. Westbrook is 24-of-39 (61.5 percent) this season. He was 2-of-3 in the win over Chicago. Westbrook is a career 82.2 percent free throw shooter. The Thunder (and Russ) have to get to the line more.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!