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Thunder Game Day No. 8: vs. Boston Celtics

Oklahoma City Thunder (4-3, 2-1 home) vs. Boston Celtics (6-2, 3-1 away)

Friday, Nov. 3 :: 8:30 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)
TV: ESPN (DirectTV 206, Cox 29, HD 1300, Tulsa Cox HD 1025, U-Verse 751/1751 HD
Online Streamhere.
RadioWWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 6½-point favorite. The over/under is 206.
Notes: Thunder: here | Celtics: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • Two of the best defenses in the NBA meet in Bricktown for a big showdown tonight on ESPN!
  • The Oklahoma City Thunder have started to find their groove and have won their last two games by an average of 25.5 points per game.
  • The Boston Celtics will not be outdone as they’re the NBA’s hottest team, winners of their last six contests.

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).
  • Tonight’s contest will also be on ESPN for those not in the Thunder’s market.
  • You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook for game updates.

Thunder thump Bucks

  • Recap
  • The Bucks drained the first basket, but Oklahoma City then went on a 16-0 run midway through the first quarter to build a 20-8 lead which they would expand throughout the game. This gives them their second straight 19+ point win, which is just the third time in Thunder history the team has recorded two consecutive road wins by 19 points or more.
  • The Thunder outrebounded the Bucks 46-31 and shot 49.4% from the field.
  • Russell Westbrook registered his fourth triple-double of the season with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, making him the only player in NBA history besides Oscar Robertson to log at least four triple-doubles in the first seven games.
  • Paul George posted 20 points, 3 rebounds, a steal and a block while shooting 50.0% (4-8) from beyond the arc.
  • Jerami Grant produced 17 points (5-9 FG, 7-7 FT), 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals off the bench.

NEW FACES

  • 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.

OK3

  • The trio of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony combined for 5,992 total points last season, which is the most by any other set of three teammates in the league this year. They are followed by Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Jimmy Butler (5,810 combined

points) and Cleveland’s Isaiah Thomas, LeBron James and Derrick Rose (5,307 combined points).

Anthony moving up the ranks

  • Carmelo Anthony currently ranks 25th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (24,316 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.

PG13

  • 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.

Westbrook

  • 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

Injury Report

  • 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 Celtics

  • The Boston Celtics are currently 6-2 on the season, best in the Eastern Conference.
  • Last season, Boston finished 53-29, best in the Eastern conference.
  • Last season, the Thunder swept the Celtics.
  • Oklahoma City has currently won eight of their last night against Boston.
  • The Thunder are 5-4 all-time at the Peake vs. Boston.
  • Oklahoma city has won five of their last six at home vs. Boston.
  • All-time against Boston, the Thunder are 62-69.
  • Since relocating to Bricktown, the Thunder are 12-6
  • Gordon Hayward (ankle) is out for the season.
  • Leading Scorer: Kyrie Irving 21.8 PPG
  • Leading Rebounder: Al Horford 9.1 RPG
  • Leading Assists: Kyring Irving 5.6 APG
  • Leading Steals: Kyrie Irving 2.6 SPG
  • Leading Blocks: Jayson Tatum 1.0 BPG
  •  The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Boston came on Jan. 5, 2014, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 119-96 (23-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (19 points) vs. Boston occurred during an 84-103 loss on March 29, 2009.

Next Up

  • On Friday, the Thunder travel to Portland to play the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, Nov. 5.
  • Then, the Thunder travel to Sacramento for a game against the lowly Kings on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Three Keys to the Game

Rebound

Oklahoma City used to be one of the best rebounding teams in the NBA. They rank only 24th this season so far. It’s also telling Oklahoma City is 3-0 when they out rebound their opponent 0-3 when they get out rebounded. (1-0 when they tie). So, leave it to the rebounding Gods to decide who wins this one.

Share the ball

Like rebounding, sharing the ball can be key. Oklahoma City is a cool 4-1 when Russell Westbrook has 10 or more assists. If the MVP gets 10, you might as well chalk up a W tonight. Hopefully he doesn’t try to go right at Kyrie Irving and plays within his game.

Get to the foul line

At only 20.3 attempts per game, the Thunder rank 23rd in free throw attempts. It doesn’t help Russell Westbrook has struggled from the line in the first two games. Westbrook is 26-of-42 (61.9 percent) this season. He was 2-of-3 in the win over Milwaukee. Westbrook is a career 82.2 percent free throw shooter. The Thunder (and Russ) have to get to the line more.

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