Oklahoma City Thunder (17-9, 7-6 away)

at

Denver Nuggets (18-9, 10-3 home)

Friday, December 14 :: 9:00 p.m. CST :: Pepsi Center (20,491)
TV Coverage: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27)
TV Coverage: ESPN (DirectTV 206, Cox 29, HD 1300, Tulsa Cox HD 1025)
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 2-point favorites. The over/under is 218.5.
Online StreamFS OK | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Nuggets: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder are setting up for a big divisional showdown against the No. 1 team in the Western Conference, the Denver Nuggets.
  • The Thunder already lost to the Nuggets once this season. So, tonight’s showdown in the Mile High City will be even bigger for the Thunder.
  • Oklahoma City is coming off a 118-114 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night.
  • The Thunder are 7-3 in their last 10 games and have lost back-to-back road games.
  • The Nuggets are facing a slew of injuries and are trying to hold onto first place in the Western Conference.

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.
  • Chris Fisher 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 game is on ESPN. Dave Pasch, Doris Burke, and Tom Rinaldi will have your call for the WorldWide Leader.

SCOUTING THE NUGGETS

  • The Denver Nuggets 18-9 on the season, best in the Western Conference.
  • In their last 10 games, the Nuggets are 8-2, including four straight at home.
  • The Nuggets are currently percentage points better than the Warriors and Thunder for first place in the Western Conference.
  • In their last game, Denver beat the Memphis Grizzlies 105-99 on Wednesday night. It ended a two-game losing streak for the Nuggets.
  • Oklahoma City is 98-80 all-time against the Denver Nuggets. That includes the time spent in Seattle and Oklahoma City.
  • Since the Thunder relocated from Seattle, Oklahoma City is 21-19 against Denver.
  • When Oklahoma City is playing at the Pepsi Center, they are 7-11 all-time.
  • The Thunder lost both games in the Mile High City last season by an average of 7.0 points per game.
  • INJURY REPORT:
    Will Barton (right hip) is out.
    Gary Harris (right hip) is out.
    Paul Millsap (fractured toe) is out.
    Michael Porter Jr. (back surgery) is out.
    Isaiah Thomas (right hip) is out.
    Jarred Vanderbilt (foot) is out.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Denver came on Feb. 22, 2015, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 119-94 (25-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (29 points) vs. the Nuggets occurred during a 119-90 loss on March 3, 2010

THUNDER INJURY REPORT

  • Andre Roberson (ruptured patellar tendon) is out.

UNIFORM WATCH

NEXT UP

  • The Thunder host the Clippers on Saturday, Dec. 15.
  • Then, they’ll play the Bulls in a rematch on Dec. 17 at 7 p.m.
  • Oklahoma City then will go on the road for seven out of the next nine games, starting in Sacramento on Dec. 19.



Three Keys to the Game

Fast Break points

Oklahoma City needs to turn up the pace against Detroit. Detroit is in the bottom third of fast break points are 8-1 when they win the fast break battle. The Thunder are 10-4 when they win the fast break battle. It’s imperative the Thunder are able to use their defensive prowess to win this battle.

Free throws

Oklahoma City is slowly moving up the rankings, they’re 26th in free throw shooting at 71.6 percent. Oklahoma City has to make free throws if they’re going to win a game, let alone a championship. If they can get over 75 percent, this game is done for. That starts with Russell Westbrook and Steven Adams, the two who’ve been struggling the most. Oklahoma City is shooting over 75 percent in victories. They’re only 64.5 percent in losses.

Bench

The Thunder’s bench has become super consistent but the points are showing it. That’s fine with the injuries the Thunder have experienced but the bench has to produce some points. When the Pistons bench is outscoring their opponents bench, Detroit is 6-1. Oklahoma City is 7-3 when they win the bench battle.

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Chuck Chaney

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