Oklahoma City Thunder (20-15, 14-4 home) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (18-15, 6-9 away)
Friday, Dec. 29 :: 7 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
Coverage: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27) | 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 7½-point favorite. The over/under is 207.
Online Stream: Fox Sports Go | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Bucks: here
SETTING THE SCENE
- The Oklahoma City Thunder put their six-game winning streak on the line against the Milwaukee Bucks tonight in Bricktown.
- They’ll have to do it without Paul George, who’s missing tonight’s game with knee soreness.
- Oklahoma City has a four-game home winning streak against the Bucks and have not lost at home to them since April 2013.
- The Thunder and Milwaukee met earlier this year, with Oklahoma City prevailing 110-91 on Oct. 31, 2017.
- With only 15 away games played for Milwaukee it’s the third lowest amount for any NBA team.
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).
SCOUTING THE BUCKS
- The Milwaukee Bucks are 18-15 on the season, fifth in the Eastern Conference.
- In their last 10 games, the Bucks are 5-5.
- Milwaukee is coming off a 102-96 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves last night.
- Overall, against Milwaukee the Thunder are 70-68.
- Since moving to Oklahoma City, the Thunder own a slight 11-7 advantage against the Bucks.
- When the Games are played at the Peake, Oklahoma City is 5-3.
- Since 2014, Oklahoma City is 4-0 at home vs. Milwaukee.
- Oklahoma City beat the Bucks 110-91 on Oct. 31, 2017 for the first win of the regular season series.
- Injury Report:
Jabari Parker (knee) is out.
Mirza Teletovic (illness) is out.
- 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).
- Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (17 points) vs. Milwaukee occurred during a 98-115 loss on April 11, 2009.
FINDING THE BUCK
- Despite Wisconsin’s hunting tradition, the most popular entry in the contest to name Milwaukee’s NBA franchise wasn’t Bucks. It was Robins.
- The judges overruled the public and decided on a more indigenous (and much stronger) name.
- The choice could have been much worse: Skunks was among the other entries.
- 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 Knickerbockers 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.
- Paul George (knee soreness) is OUT.
- Oklahoma City finishes out their four-game home stand with a Sunday night with the Mavs in town.
- The Thunder then go on a West Coast swing playing the Clippers, Lakers and the Suns in 2018.
Three Keys to the Game
Win the first half
Milwaukee doesn’t really have the firepower to come from behind and it’s showing in their stats. The Bucks are 4-10 when trailing at halftime. However, you’d think Oklahoma City did. Look at theirs. They’re 2-7 when trailing at the half. The Thunder are only 1-1 when trailing after halftime since the start of December.
Defend the three
With no Paul George, the Thunder are down a player to help defend the perimeter. Oklahoma City cannot let the Bucks get hot from deep. If Milwaukee is draining threes, this could be a long night for the Thunder. Oklahoma City has to keep the Bucks under eight threes and 35 percent.
Make your Free throws
Easier said than done for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Oklahoma City is the second worst free throw shooting team in the NBA. However, Milwaukee gives up the second most free throw shots per game in the NBA. So, if and when the Thunder get to the line, they’ll have to make their shots.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!