Oklahoma City Thunder (28-20, 10-13 away) vs. Detroit Pistons (22-24, 13-9 home)

Saturday, Jan. 27 :: 4:00 p.m. CST :: Little Caesars Arena (20,491)
TV Coverage: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27)
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 3½-point favorite. The over/under is 206½.
Online Stream: FS OK | WWLS Sports AnimalLive Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Pistons: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • With a six-game winning streak, the Thunder head to the Motor City to take on the Pistons who are on the opposite end of the spectrum with a six-game losing streak.
  • All that is cause for concern as the Thunder have not won in Detroit since Dec. 7, 2014.
  • The Pistons are without Reggie Jackson and Jon Leuer and could be without Reggie Bullock tonight.
  • In their last 10 games, Detroit is 2-8 and it doesn’t seem like it could turn around any time soon.

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 PISTONS

  • The Detroit Pistons are 22-24 on the season, ninth in the Eastern Conference.
  • In their last 10 games, the Pistons are 2-8.
  • Currently, Detroit is riding a league worst, six-game losing streak. They haven’t won a game since a Jan. 10 win over Brooklyn.
  • In their previous game, the Pistons lost to the Utah Jazz 98-95 in overtime on Wednesday, Jan. 24.
  • All-time against the Pistons, the Thunder are 68-66.
  • Since relocation, Oklahoma City has a more commanding 13-5 advantage over Detroit.
  • When playing in the Motor City, the Thunder are 5-3 all-time.
  • Oklahoma City has not beaten Detroit away from Chesapeake Energy Arena since Dec. 7, 2014, a two-game span.
  • INJURY REPORT:
    Reggie Jackson (ankle) is out.
    Jon Leuer (ankle) is out.
    Reggie Bullock (thumb) is a game-time decision.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Detroit came on Jan. 23, 2012, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 99-79 (20-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (16 points) vs. the Pistons occurred during a 104-88 loss on Nov. 14, 2016.

INJURY REPORT

  • Oklahoma City is relatively healthy.

NEXT UP

  • Oklahoma City will host the Philadelphia 76ers tomorrow for a short home game, then go on the road for two more games to round out the month.

WHAT’S IN A PISTONS NAME

  • The Pistons trace their roots to Fort Wayne, Indiana, where they were known as the Zollner Pistons. (Pretty sick logo).
  • What’s a Zollner Piston? A piston manufactured by then-team owner Fred Zollner, who named the club after his personal business.
  • When the team moved to Detroit in 1957, Zollner dropped his name from the nickname but retained Pistons. The name was fitting for the Motor City.



Three Keys to the Game

Transition scoring

Detroit plays at an excruciating slow pace. While they’re already in the bottom third of the league in pace, it’s the last 10 games where they’ve really been stagnant. Less than 98 possessions a game while the Thunder have increased that to 101 per game. If Oklahoma City can grind out a few more possessions tonight, could be huge.

Bench

Oklahoma City’s bench ranks 28th in the NBA in points contributed per game. They’re averaging 24.6 points per game. With Raymond Felton playing well lately, the Thunder have benefited. Felton and Co. have been a large part of the winning streak. Their ability to evaporate deficits or extend leads has been wonderful.

Big Three

These are those “dot dot dot” teams Carmelo Anthony has been talking about. While they struggled with the Nets, it’s the Big Three who need to step up and take this game over. There isn’t a lot of fire power for the Pistons. If these three can get in sync, this game may be over quick.

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Chuck Chaney

Founder & Editor-in-Chief.
Member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

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