Oklahoma City Thunder (40-24, 20-13 home)

vs.

Utah Jazz (42-23, 21-13 away)

Saturday, August 1 :: 2:30 p.m. CST :: The Arena — Disney’s Wild World of Sports
TV Coverage: Fox Sports Oklahoma
TV Coverage: ESPN
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are 1½-point favorites. The over/under is 216.5.
Online StreamFS OK | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Jazz: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder are set to open their bubble portion of the regular season. While some teams have gotten under way and picked up wins (Utah), the Thunder had an unbeaten scrimmage set and are looking to push that into the last part of the season.
  • Oklahoma City will be the home team. They can dictate the images around the arena, even down to which sound effects are being used.
  • Andre Roberson is back and it is still unclear if he will start this afternoon. He has been a breath of fresh air for the Thunder off the bench.
  • While the Thunder have clinched a playoff spot, they are still jockeying for playoff positioning. A win would go a long way into securing home court for the playoffs… whatever that means now.

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).
  • ESPN will have the broadcast, too. Mark Jones, Doris Burke and Malika Andrews will have the call for The World Wide Leader.

STANDING WATCH

  • Currently, the Oklahoma City Thunder are sitting in sixth place in the Western Conference playoff race.
  • Oklahoma City is currently two games ahead of seventh place Dallas and a half game behind fifth place Houston.
  • Utah, who is in fourth place, leads the Thunder by 1½ games.
  • The Thunder have clinched a playoff spot and can finish no worse than seventh.
  • They could hypothetically finish as high as second in the West.

SCOUTING THE ENEMY

  • The Utah Jazz are 41-23 on the season, good enough for fourth in the Western Conference.
  • Utah beat the New Orleans Pelicans 106-104 to wrap up their first game of the bubble portion
  • The two teams have split their first two games of the season, with both games being in Salt Lake City.
  • Oklahoma City is 111-79 all-time against Utah.
  • Since the Thunder relocated, Oklahoma City is 32-13 against the Jazz.
  • When they are considered the home team, Oklahoma City is 19-2 all-time vs. Utah.
  • Utah is healthy heading into today’s game.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Utah came on Dec. 20, 2017, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 107-79 (28-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (21 points) vs. UTA occurred during a 99-120 loss on Oct. 31, 2010.

THUNDER INJURY REPORT

  • Terrance Ferguson (leg) is a game-time decision for Oklahoma City.

UNIFORM WATCH

Keys to the Game

Steven Adams

The Kiwi has to be an important piece of the Thunder’s success against Utah today. He was plus-14 in the win and minus-1 in the loss. If he has a nice day, the Thunder could be looking at a win. With the playoff positioning so tight, this game is huge.

Defend the three

Oklahoma City has been a solid three-point defending team all season. Now, you add in the pressure of playoff basketball on the horizon and these guys with little to no big game experience need to learn to step up. Utah hasn’t shot the three particularly well vs. Oklahoma City. Have to keep that up this afternoon.

Play loose

In a game that is this large with everything riding after the shut down, they could play tight. Remember, Oklahoma City and Utah basically ended the regular season with the positive test on March 11. I don’t know if they forgot that but they have to play as if it is another game in the season and play to their ability.

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.