Oklahoma City Thunder (18-10, 11-3 home)

at

Chicago Bulls (7-23, 3-12 away)

Monday, December 17 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
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 enemyHere.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 13-point favorites. The over/under is 212.5.
Online StreamFS OK | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Bulls: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • Oklahoma City responded to losing three-out-of-four games with an impressive win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday. What was most impressive about it: they won against a winning record team, on the second night of a back-to-back.
  • The Thunder currently sit comfortably in the third seed in the Western Conference playoff race. They’re a full game up on the Los Angeles Lakers and trail the Golden State Warriors by a full game for second place.
  • Coming into tonight’s game, the Chicago Bulls did the unthinkable. They won a basketball game in the second half while being down 21. The Bulls beat the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night after trailing by 21 in the third quarter. It was Chicago’s first win since beating the Thunder a week or so ago.
  • Speaking of that… The Bulls stunned Oklahoma City on Dec. 7, winning 114-112. Oklahoma City never could find their rhythm and players like Zach LaVine went bananas.

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).

SCOUTING THE BULLS

  • The Chicago Bulls are currently 6-23 on the season, 13th in the Western Conference.
  • In their last 10 games, the Bulls are 2-8. With their only two wins being over San Antonio and Oklahoma City.
  • In their last 10 road games, it gets worse. Chicago is only 1-9.
  • All-time against the Bulls, the Oklahoma City Thunder are 72-74.
  • Since relocation, the Thunder are 12-8 against Chicago.
  • When the two throw down at Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City is 6-4 all-time.
  • In the post-KD era, the Thunder are 3-2 against the Bulls, with 1-1 home record.
  • INJURY REPORT
    Zach LaVine (left ankle) is out.
    Jabari Parker (illness) is questionable.
    Denzel Valintine (left ankle) is out.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Chicago came on Oct. 28, 2017, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 101-69 (32-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (28 points) vs. the Bulls occurred during an 128-100 loss on Feb. 1, 2017.

THUNDER INJURY REPORT

  • Andre Roberson (ruptured patellar tendon) is out.

UNIFORM WATCH

NEXT UP

  • Oklahoma City then will go on the road for seven out of the next nine games, starting in Sacramento on Dec. 19.
  • Oklahoma City will play in Utah on Dec. 19.
  • They’ll return home for a one game battle against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Then, Oklahoma City will play on Christmas Day against the Houston Rockets.



Three Keys to the Game

Fast Break points

Oklahoma City needs to turn up the pace against Chicago. The Bulls are in the bottom third of fast break points are 5-5 when they win the fast break battle. The Thunder are 14-6 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 dropped in the free throw rankings, they’re 29th in free throw shooting at 70.3 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 63.9 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 Bulls bench is outscoring their opponents bench, Detroit is 3-2. Oklahoma City is 10-6 when they win the bench battle.

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!

Related Articles

About author View all posts Author website

Chuck Chaney

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