Oklahoma City Thunder (4-4, 2-2 away) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (5-4, 3-2 home)
Sunday, Nov. 5 :: 8:00 p.m. CST :: Moda Center (19,980)
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: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 6½-point favorite. The over/under is 206.
Notes: Thunder: here | Blazers: here
SETTING THE SCENE
- The Oklahoma City Thunder look to overcome their crunch time woes as they head to Portland to play the Portland Trail Blazers on a Sunday night showdown.
- The Thunder are 18-18 against Portland since relocation. It’s been such a tight match up.
- The Trail Blazers beat the Lakers on a last second shot by Damian Lillard in their last match up and are 5-4 on the 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).
- You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook for game updates.
Thunder choke against Celtics
- Despite holding Boston to a season-low 37 points in the first half, the Celtics produced a 64-point second half led by Kyrie Irving’s 22 second half points to secure the win. Oklahoma City has now held their opponents to 42 points or less in the first half of each of the last three games for the first time since Nov. 14-18, 2014.
- The Thunder defense held Boston to 31.0% shooting in the first half before the Celtics defense held Oklahoma City to 33.3% shooting in the second. Boston and Oklahoma City have the best and second-best defensive ratings in the league of 95.6 and 97.2, respectively.
- Paul George led the team in scoring as he posted his first double-double of the season with 25 points and 10 rebounds.
- Carmelo Anthony grabbed a game and season-best 14 rebounds along with 10 points, 3 assists and a block.
- 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.
- 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 (24,326 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 Blazers
- Al-Foarouq Aminu (ankle) is out.
- Meyers Leonard (ankle) is out.
- Wade Baldwin (thumb) is out.
- CJ Wilcox (knee) is out.
- Last season, the Blazers finished the regular season 41-41, eighth in the Western Conference.
- This season, Portland is 5-4 on the year, seventh in the West.
- In their seasonal series, Oklahoma City went 1-3 against Portland.
- Overall, the Thunder lead the series 116-112.
- Since relocation happened for Oklahoma City, it’s 18-all between the two.
- When games are in Portland, the Thunder are 7-11.
- Oklahoma City has not won in Portland since Feb. 11, 2014, a streak of six straight losses.
- The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Portland came on March 24, 2013, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 103-83 (20-point margin of victory).
- Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (35 points) vs. Portland occurred during a 72-107 loss on April 3, 2009.
- On Friday, the Thunder travel to Sacramento for a game against the lowly Kings on Tuesday, Nov. 7.
- Then, the Thunder travel to Denver for a game against the Nuggets on Thurs., Nov. 9.
Three Keys to the Game
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 0-4 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 4-2 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 Damian Lillard and plays within his game.
Get to the foul line
At only 19.5 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 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.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!